The Taj Mahal

Trip Start Jan 21, 2007
Trip End ??? ??, 2008

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Where I stayed
Shah Jahan Guesthouse

Flag of India  ,
Monday, April 16, 2007

Made it to Agra.  Managed to catch the train this time.  Not so pleasant journey, as usual due to some people who don't have any consideration for others sleeping.  After the train leaving on time it arrived a record breaking (in my experience anyway) 4 and a half hours late.  Were supposed to get in at 6am and made it about half past 10. 

So far so good in Agra, got a guest house (Shah Jahan) and am paying slightly more (still less than 2 pounds) for a decent clean room with a bathroom with western toilet.  Got a quick look at the Taj Mahal from the roof terrace.  Not a great view but then thats why it costs almost a tenner to get in to see it properly!

(In case anyone wonders why I write pounds instead of the symbol, can you believe foreign keyboards don't have the pound symbol??!)

So it's Taj Mahal tmrw, going to get up ultra early and go for sunrise to see it changing colour or whatever it does.

Update:  Up at the crazy time of 5am to be at the Taj for it opening 6am.  Lovely and cool at that time in the morning, and amazing how many people are about.  I was slightly wrong about the cost, it's 750Rs which is about 9 pounds....but for that you get a free half litre of water, a pair of foot cover things and free use of the toilets.  The Indians have to pay 2Rs, serves them right for only having to pay 25Rs entry!!  Can you imagine this happening in the UK, Brits get in places cheap and all the foreigners have to pay 30 times as much?  More likely the foreigners would get in free and the British would have to pay a fortune!

Anyway, the Taj was fantastic, well worth the money.  I was there for sunrise, can't say that I was aware of a colour change but maybe I was too busy trying to be photographer extrordanaire and wasn't concentrating hard enough!  Spent a few hours just wandering around.  Slightly misled by the Rough Guide which had given me an image of lying on the lawn under a tree reading a book, which is how I had planned to spend some time.  You're not even allowed to step on the grass so that was the end of that idea!

Major complaint:  some people have scratched grafitti into the walls of the Taj.  Why would anyone do that?  And why don't they have security people to stop it?  Only good thing (kind of) that I can say is that all the graffiti, as far as I saw anyway, was Indian names. The Indians are destroying their own country but at least it's not Western tourists doing it.

Saw the man cutting the grass.  He had one of those old non-electric push mowers.  And there is a lot of grass.  You'd think out of all the entry money they could get that poor man a flymo!

Left Agra later the same day, didn't really see the point in hanging around another night so it's the train to Jaipur.  It's about 6 hours, but only sitting class which should be fun.
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asalgado on

Hey you are glad to have left the last place...for once I actually didn't envy you at all...sounds like a complete nightmare! Hopefully you will have a better time in Agra. Not much news...get the keys for the new house tomorrow :-) AxXx

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