Thursday, November 01, 2007

Vist to Agra...The Taj!!

On our recent trip to India, the one place we wanted to visit was Agra, to see the Taj Mahal. My kids had made us promise when we were still here that we would see it. So, we booked our tickets using the travel site We only just booked our flight tickets as our accomodation was taken care of by freinds of the family. The tickets were not too expensive and the customer service reps were professional and curteous.

We arrived in Delhi on a Monday afternoon and spent the day lazing around. The next day, Tuesday, we woke up bright and early to drive to Agra. Our driver was a nice young fellow, except he kept losing his way around a little bit! Of course once we were on the highway, he knew every inch of the road and made good time. He used his 'Haryanvi' accent to talk his way through various "informal check-posts" setup by local police. Haryanvi is a special flavor of Hindi spoken in the state of Haryana which is adjacent to state of Delhi. We stopped for breakfast at a nice restaurant on the Delhi-Agra highway, I can't remember the name, but they not only had great parathas, but also some fabulous souvenirs. The kids of course were thrilled by the snake charmer who sat at the gate to the restaurant.

After a good breakfast, we resumed our journey and reached Agra at about 10.00 am and went straight to the Taj Mahal. Motor vehicles are not permitted close to the monument and so we had to park our car little away and from there ride in a jatka...a horse driven cart. It was an iteresting 10 minutes with the bumps and clumps and the willfulness of the animal itself. At one point the cart driver gave the reigns to my older son and this thrilled him no end. We arrived at the entrance and bought our tickets to go in. There was a security check point but there was no problem. It was not too crowded and it was a pleasant morning. Although it did get very hot really soon..

There are no words to describe the unique beauty of the Taj!!It stood regal and grand near the Jamuna...I was sad to see though,that the Jamuna had shrunk to a mere stream. We walked along the path leading to the Taj and went inside. Footwear had to be left outside and we entered the monument. It was quite hot outside now, but the spectacular architecture of the monument allowed for the cool breeze to waft in. This gave the place a serene, calm and cool feel. Photography is not allowed inside the Taj. However, we took plenty of pictures outside. The kids read about its history and other interesting facts on our way out. My younger son's reaction after reading them was just one word, "awesome!". We again took the jatka back to the car park. The heat was intense now and we were hungry. We headed to a restaurant for some Daal-roti and sabji.

The best time to visit the Taj Mahal seemed to be on any week day except Friday. Visit to Taj on Fridays and weekends will only cause lot of heartache for Taj-lovers. It was around the last week of June and I think schools being in session in India, there was not too much crowd. It was peaceful and quiet and just perfect.

Soon after our trip, The Taj was voted to be one of the New Seven Wonders!!!Yeah..Taj!


At 10:25 PM, Anonymous rk said...

hi tp,
great to see you back in the blog-prapancha!

you took me to agra thru this lovely post. nice to know that you all had a great time here.

take care keep writing


At 6:06 AM, Blogger couch potato said...

Glad to see you're back. Keep the write stuff happening. You could inspire me to get out of my couch and to blog again.

At 11:10 AM, Blogger Sigma said...

Nice post. Interesting to read of your experiences :-)
I have been there a few times, and went again some time back, though it was many many years after the last visit. I am also about to post on my trip in a short while :D

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Hi TP! It is nice to have you back. Thanks for the heads up on my blog.

We have been traveling too and selling a house and a farm. Other things too, they all are keeping us very busy and blog time down.

If I ever went to India I sure would want to see the Taj Mahal. I'm not sure what else I would want, but Mrs. Jim and I would do some homework before leaving.

My daughter, Susie, and her husband went the year before last. I'm not sure what all they saw, it was on a Christian mission trip.
They were supposed to be on the beach the day of the tsunami but left early on the day before.

My son-in-law is half Indian, his great-grandfather came to Trinidad as an indentured slave. His mother is from Venzuela.

You can keep telling of your India travels, they seem pretty interesting. Thanks.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger indicaspecies said...

Oh, the Taj Mahal!
No words are necessary to describe the charm and the marvel of the monument. I yearn to visit it again and that time, will ensure that I'll stay overnight to watch its exquisite beauty in the moonlight.

At 4:49 AM, Blogger AJEYA RAO said...

Hello TP,

Was on vacation for 11 days.

Happy Deepavali.

I always feel sad when i read blog posts on Taj, because i still have not made it there. Well i would like to keep this trip next year for sure. :-)

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Mridula said...

Hey, great to see you writing again. And Taj Mahal is such a majestic monument indeed. I have been there with my nephews and I love the way the brats become speechless for a while when they see it!

At 8:15 AM, Blogger travel plaza said...

Thank you. I will try to keep writing.

I do hope you will blog again...I love reading your posts.

Thanks:)I checked out your post on the Taj. Amazing pictures!

At 11:46 AM, Blogger travel plaza said...

Hope you had a wonderful trip. If you go to India, you must visit the Taj. Its beautiful!!But there are also tons of other interesting places to visit. I myself have not travelled a whole lot within India, but hopefully I'll get a chance to explore more sometime.

Ahh!!!The Taj in moonlight. Sounds wonderful...

At 11:50 AM, Blogger travel plaza said...

I'm sure you'll visit the Taj sometime soon...In the meantime, you're visiting all these wonderful other places:))Where did you go during your 11 day vacation? Hope you had a happy and safe Diwali.

Thanks. I've been trying to write a little bit, but work and schedules have kept me busy. The Taj does make one stop talking and stare open-mouthed, doesn't it?


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