Agra and the Taj Mahal

IMG_4470Agra is a city not unlike others we have visited to date, although it does seem slightly less chaotic, if that is even possible. Almost as soon as we alighted from the train we were greeted by dirty, bright-eyed children begging and men wanting to carry our luggage. I’m wary of the luggage bearers after an experience in Delhi where 100 rupees was negotiated, but the the man insisted on 500 rupees. The whole point of negotiating a price is to eliminate the bumping up of the price pat the end.

And again more incongruence: we are driven by coach through the gritty reality of streetscape to the surreality of a very, very, very nice hotel.

Our visit to the Taj was early in the morning, and already the crowds had gathered, eager to visit this iconic monument to love. Security was tight, as it is pretty much everywhere in India, and we were given a list of prohibited item which would be confiscated if we tried to enter the complex with them. One poor girl was carrying a small, spiral bound notebook and wasn’t allowed in.

The Taj itself was breathtaking. In the soft, early morning light the marble gleamed. Jewelled inlays in the marble caught the light and danced with it. Words can’t describe the Taj, so I’ll just let the pictures do the talking.

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