Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Date with Tajmahal

This November, I planned for Agra trip as part of my chhath vacation. It started with a visit to Delhi by flight. From Delhi, I had booking in Bhopal Shatabadi express for Agra. We boarded the train at New Delhi station in early morning. This train is the fastest train of India. A good number of passengers were foreigners, inbound to Agra. Services in train were superb. In two and half hours only, we reached to Agra Cantonment station. One of my friend who is native of Agra came to station to receive me. As per his suggestions, we planned to visit Tajmahal as first thing for the day. 

Mostly tourists enter into Tajmahal from east or west gate but my friend took us at south gate. There was no queue at ticket counter and a short queue only at the entrance. Security at entrance was strict. After a walk of few hundred meters, we entered through another gate. There the majestic Tajmahal was in front of us. It is as beautiful as it is mentioned in numerous literature. We got ourselves photographed there. Then we walked through the lawn to reach the Tajmahal. The beautiful white architectural monument is exceptionally marvelous. We had a walk around before we went inside. Shoe covers were put on to protect whiteness of the marbles. I saw local people who care less about these heritage and sit where they are not supposed to be. They need to be educated. Once we came out, we had a walk around veranda where we could see calm Yamuna river flowing along the boundary of it. One can see Mehtabbagh on opposite side. Once we came out through west gate, we went to Hotel Taj for breakfast but their service was pathetic. So we came out. There was a huge rush at ticket counter and entrance at the west gate. Not sure why south gate is not widely popularized where crowd is generally thin. From Tajmahal, we hired a Tonga or horse-cart to go to Agra fort, also called as Red fort. Traffic was badly mismanaged. Never thought that traffic around the country's most sought tourist place will be so bad.

At red fort, there was less crowd though it was also one of the main tourist places. Fort is constructed of red sandstone. This fort was very giant which can be realized from a view from outside only. We went inside but spent less time as we were feeling the peak of heat. From there we went to friend's house. We purchased famous panchi petha from old town. There was a plan to go to Fatehpur sikri but skipped it due to the traffic. In evening we went to Tundla station to catch the train for hometown.