We sleepily get out of bed at 4.30am, get ready, go to the front door of our hotel and realise we’re locked in! There’s a kid asleep there so we try to wake him but he’s dead to the world and our train leaves in 20 minutes. We get him to sit up but he just flops back down. With no luck trying to find someone else in the hotel we finally get the kid up to unlock the door and leg it to the traino.
First sight of the Taj we both say ‘wow!’ It’s big and beautiful. But as you get closer you see how detailed every little bit of it is.
Inside looks like flowers and patterns have been painted everywhere. But as you look closer you see that every pattern is made from different coloured gems set into the marble. No wonder this place took 30 years to build. And for a structure almost 400 years old it’s in bloody good nic.
We sit in the shade on the cool marble as people scurry around taking photos. Some bloke sits next to us, says hi and we realise his wife is taking a photo of us. Maybe people thought we were famous or just really good looking cos people just keep sitting next to us getting photos with us. We should have charged 50 rupees a photo because we had about 15 shots before our cheeks were sore and we left.
Next we headed to Agra Fort which is a 500 year old massive complex containing palaces, mosques, parliament buildings, army barracks and plenty more.
The whole thing is surround by a mote which was filled with crocodiles then a 40 foot wall behind which there were lions and leopards and then the buildings were 70 feet high.
The palaces where the royals slept had hollow walls which were filled with hot water in winter and cold in summer. Not bad for ancient a/c.
The Taj Mahal was built in memory of the fourth Mughal kings second wife who died during the birth of their 14th child. I’m not surprised there.
The fifth king took his spot on the throne by killing his 3 brothers and locking his father up.
He must have been a horny bugger as he had a Hindu wife a Muslim wife a Christian wife and a 300 strong harem.
As we didn’t have return train tickets all that was left was 2nd class. We waited in anxious anticipation as the train rolled up to the platform. Peering through the windows the seats are full and people are standing in the aisles. ‘Well this is going to be an interesting 3hr ride back to Delhi.’
We squeeze down the aisle, there’s 6 or 7 to a seat which normally seat 3 and people sitting in the luggage racks above their heads. ‘Hrrrm?’
Matt spots a rack with luggage in so after a bit of sign language we re-stack the luggage and jump up onto the steel racks for our interesting ride home for a very interesting day.