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all seasons in one day

Rose and I rose at 6 to take a bell tinkling cycle rickshaw through the alleyways of still slumbering Agra out to the Taj, and an tomboyish Ozzie firefighter chick was now deemed quirky acceptable company for our imminent contemplation of one of the worlds most renowned dedications to love. We werent even sure if we were going to go straight in or just check out the scene for future reference, since the ultimate tourist rip-off price of 750 Rupees, over a tenner, didnt even allow a second subsequent entry for sunset viewing. The temptation proved too much in the end though considering the effort made. Thoroughly shrouded in mist, we slowly watched the just discernible onion dome and minarets evolve from the fuzzy grey soup, with periodic snaps in a strategy to capture its protracetd revelation, until eventually it stood beaming bright in all its glory............

It rained that evening and so we had been fortunate to take advantage of the short earlier window of sunshine. The early start had also helped us avoid the worst of the daytripper tour groups and after a late brekkie we resisted the urge to crash and went instead to visit Agra Fort too. Built in the same dark red sandstone as Delhi Fort, it was another impressive building in both scale and detail, filled with palaces and courtyards from which the entire Moghul Empire had once been ruled, with great views over the river back towards the Taj 2Ks distant. Surprisingly the unexpectedly small traditional backpacker hangout of Taj Ganj had only one tiny cafe and one beer shop to speak of, but that was enough for us.

Posted by andyhay 00:00 Archived in India

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