Fatehpur Sikri

A Weekend Trip to Agra

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Next day we checked out of hotel to visit Taj, and as we were approaching Taj Mahal, a number of people stopped our car seeing the Delhi number plate, and tried to lure us on some pretext or other. Some said, “Bauji, Taj Mahal se 4 km tak koi parking nahi hai, main apki car bhi park kara dunga aur auto se le chalunga” -“Sir, there is no parking within 4km of Taj Mahal, I will get your car parked and take you there in the auto”. We overheard all those guys and parked our car at Shilpgram parking, buy tickets from the counter, hired a battery cab in just Rs 10, that dropped us close to Taj. Battery operated cabs hop between authorized Taj parkings and Taj Mahal.

Reaching there, we were welcomed by a long queue of tourists getting restless to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The guards were checking the entry tickets of each visitor and randomly asking for identity proofs of tourists (There was no standard rule for checking authenticity of individuals). Soon after entering, there were rooms made of red sandstone which used to be the rooms of guest of the Shah Jahan, made in almost the same manner as the ones in Fateh Pur Sikri. After entering a huge gate, the sight of marvel made of white marble got visible. The Taj is magnificiently built structure of equal dimensions from all four side and even its distance from the mosque at both its sides are at same length. The entire dimensional symmetry of this architectural marvel is a treat for viewer’s eyes.

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Golden Triangle – Agra, Fatehpur Sikri

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We then decided that we should go around Agra a bit like visiting Red Fort. So, we took a Tonga to go to Red Fort. We enjoyed the ride and Tonga wallah obliged by letting us take pictures with Tonga. Red Fort was another revelation with so many stories about it. We had hired a guide who was telling us all the places where Shahjahan lived or exiled, where his daughters lived, mosque, sheesh mahal, bombshell damage etc. Soon, it was dusk and there were lot of birds circling the fort and its courtyard. We imagined how it would have been for Shahjahan watching his beloved Taj Mahal and the Yamuna while in exile.

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