Saturday, April 29, 2006
THE TAJ MAHAL
So a final bus journey took us out of Rajasthan that had treated us so well. Onto Agra we rolled.
The minor mishap of my exceedingly late realisation that the the Taj was closed on Fridays meant that we were a bit rushed to see all the other sights of the city in a short afternoon, but a wicked and oh-so-speedy rickshaw driver made sure it was even better in a spin. The Fort was impressive but poorly on show on the inside, the Baby Taj fantastic and the journey through the streets and across the rickety mad bridge crazy. A manic rainstorm that obscured our view of the city within seconds added some more excitement and allowed us the rare sight of a relatively unpolluted view of the Taj Mahal.
The time spent staring at the wonder from across the river at sunset and the hours in the complex from sunrise the next day where one of those rare experiences that will stay with you for good. Similar to my lack of explanation of a certain South American wonder, I do not try here to offer much explanation of just how startling, romantic, remarkable and just downright beautiful the Taj Mahal is. If one could specify specific wonders of the world it would be one.
Many thoughts surround the sacrifice it took to build the monument, the enlightened drawing together of religions and cultures that it encompasses and the shaming of it undertaken by a famous Brit, but I feel it is optimal to say no more than to recommend everyone who can see it for themselves does and takes from it what it invariably gives - wonder, amazement and for me hope.
See the photos and do the math, but with the knowledge that it is numerous times more impressive then any photo could express.
Then onwards we went to Delhi, woke up Dave, had a final walk around the main bazaars and sights of Delhi (Chris decided she had finally had enough of the staring), watched the sunset over India Gate, had a few beers and went to the airport.
I find it hard to sum up just how good the last couple of weeks have been. Fantastic goes some way to covering it. A long sad goodbye and then back off to a pub to start new plans. The way of things...
at 10:09:00 am