The Golden Triangle’s second place to visit is Agra. For me, this was the highlight of the trip. In the very early morning we made the trek to Agra. The streets of India are packed with cars, people, rickshaws, and even animals. We saw a lot of donkeys and cows crossing the street. What the tour guide told us about the cows being smart is: They don’t like flies, so they sit in the middle of the road because the cars driving past will shoo the flies away (with the wind it creates). Anyway, we arrived in Agra and the first and best destination we arrived at was the Taj Mahal. There wasn’t much of a line to get in because we were so early. When inside, you see four gates. As you approach the gate that leads into the Taj Mahal, you sort of see it in the distance. It’s surprising how foggy India is, but beause the Taj is white, it almost was camouflaged by the fog. As you get closer, we found the best places to take pictures of each other. People around us kept asking us if we wanted them to take a picture for us (so that we would pay for it later). The building was surrounded by a big beautiful garden. As you stand at the gate, you will notice that the trees and the fountains/ponds look like they are straight, not “going into the distance” look (getting smaller as it gets further). This is because the king wanted the garden to look uniform at the entrance, so the trees got bigger and the pond got wider as you got close to the building.
The Taj Mahal was built because the king’s true love, queen number three, asked him to. There are no real documentation on all these requests, but she had asked him to build something that would represent his love for her. It is amazing how great this king was, to create such a breathtaking building for his wife. On the right of it is a mosque. Did I mention this king was Islamic? Either way, I wasn’t allowed to take a picture inside this marble beauty, but the insides were even more amazing than the outside. With one big slab of marble, they carved beautiful dividers between the eager lookers and the tombs of the king and the queen. There were rumours that they would be making a black marble Taj Mahal, but because of pricing, it didn’t end up being made. The building’s designers and workers were banned from working in that industry in order to make sure that they do not recreate something similar to it.
Are there enough palaces that you can go to on one trip? The answer to that is definitely no. We went to the then living king’s palace in Agra. This palace was his original place of living until there was a draught, so he moved to where there was water. Similar to the palace from the previous blog, there were many rooms for the queens and ladies that the king was with. Though, this place was made out of red stone which is what the city is famous for.
We had lunch at a tourist restaurant where they had pasta and fried rice available. I didn’t feel much about eating Indian food again. Apparently I didn’t want to eat the Italian food either. I ate some of the rice but I focused on the dessert to fill me.
The final palace we went to was also made of red stone. It was a huge place full of rooms that the ladies lived, lots of paintings about the kama sutra, and some large party areas. This king was the son of the king that built the Taj Mahal. This king was also said that he would sit in his office and order to people to die and an elephant will crush someone’s head to execute them. Right in the middle of his large gardens. This palace was also where a British Captain was buried because he had put a lot of money to keep this palace in place when the world war was coming through India.
We had a show to go to that night as well. It was a theatre production about the building of the Taj Mahal. Mohabbat the Taj is the show we went to that I slept through. It was in English but I was not interested at all. The best part of it was we got a free bottle of Himalayan water.
In the evening we went back to the hotel: Sheraton Four Points. We ate downstairs in the buffet area, where we ate a la carte food. I had a vege burger that was a little dry. Again, I focused on the dessert by having a sundae.