Agra and the Taj Mahal

Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in Blog, India | Comments Off on Agra and the Taj Mahal

Dates of travel: 10/26 – 10/27/2012

Cycling into Agra was a mess of busy traffic. At one major intersection we saw how a motorcyclist hit a car. The driver got out of his vehicle, grabbed the motorcyclist and punched off his helmet before punching him in the face. My guess is that vehicle insurance isn’t very common in India.

We found an inexpensive but clean hotel right outside the gates to the Taj Mahal where we stayed for two nights. Turns out that the next day was one of the only two days of the year when entrance to the Taj was free of charge. Lucky us!

There it is!

There it is!

When we entered through the gates and got our first look at the Taj, we were truly mesmerized. This must have been the most beautiful building I have ever seen. Plus, it was built for a very romantic reason. The beloved wife of a Mughal emperor had passed away during the birth of their 14th child. The emperor was so sad that he built this beautiful Mausoleum for her place of rest.

The beautiful Taj Mahal

The beautiful Taj Mahal

Outside the Taj Mahal

Terrace in front of the Taj Mahal

Segregation outside the Taj Mahal

Segregation outside the Taj Mahal

Marble Flowers decorating the Taj Mahal

Marble Flowers decorating the Taj Mahal

One of the minarets outside the Taj Mahal

One of the minarets outside the Taj Mahal

While we were sitting on a bench enjoying the view of the Taj, a man came up to us. He talked about the college he had founded in Agra and he was curious about our work and trip. At the end of our conversation he touched our heads and gave us blessings. He was a very kind man.

Yum! Old rags are my favorite food!

Yum! Old rags are my favorite food!

Boys riding the ferrys wheel

Local boys riding the ferrys wheel

The next day we cycled to the opposite side of the river to get a nice view of the Taj Mahal. When we got there, a group of kids asked us for money so they could buy biscuits for the puppies who looked very hungry. I was skeptical at first but since I am a dog lover I handed them a few coins. I was happy when they actually returned with the biscuits and we had fun feeding them to the pups together.

www.goingbybikes.com

Who cares about the Taj when there are puppies to play with!

Who cares about the Taj when there are puppies to play with!

All India posts:
Part 1 – A long day – Crossing the border into India
Part 2 – Cycling in India 
Part 3 – Feeling like Superstars
Part 4 – A super-cheap amusement park? Heck yes!
Part 5 – Dussehra Festival
Part 6 – Agra and the Taj Mahal
Part 7 – Delhi
Part 8 – Staying on a houseboat on Dal Lake in Kashmir
Part 9 – Yoga in Rishikesh   &   Leaving India
Final Part – I.N.D.I.A. – I will never do it again!