9 January, Agra

We had hoped to get an early morning sunrise photo of the Taj Mahal however the fog rained on our parade so we abandoned that idea and headed to the Agra Fort while waiting for the air to clear. Our tour guide joined us again and we were pretty happy to have him with us as he explained lots of things we wouldn’t have been able to find in the guide books. The Fort was comprised of different palaces for different members of the Mughal Empire and constructed mainly of red sandstone and marble.

Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

It was quite cold this morning – the top temperature of the day was only 5 degrees so it must have been hovering around 1 or 2 degrees.  This didn’t deter the many tourists and of course the street sellers with their souvenirs and postcards.

We arrived at the Taj Mahal around 10am and as is the case with so many world famous monuments, we both had pretty high expectations, particularly of that first glimpse of the Taj beyond the gate. Unfortunately the fog obscured this view so it wasn’t until we got up close to the building that we could see it. We waited for a couple of hours until the fog lifted and neither of us were disappointed. Waiting for the fog to lift probably heightened our reaction to it once it finally emerged. It was literally breathtaking and we couldn’t stop taking photos of it. The close-up detail was so impressive with semi-precious stones and jewels inlaid into the smooth marble.

Food has become a pretty big focus of our days – except for breakfast which usually consists of paper thin bread with sickly sweet jam laden with preservatives and a medicinal aftertaste. Lunch today was the cheapest meal we’ve had so far at 40 rupees (less than a dollar). We shared a paneer masala dosa which was delicious and filling.

© Richard Munckton

1 comment

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