Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day 3 in India

The above pictures are a little blurry because I was taking them on the train coming into Agra, from New Delhi.  Yep we made our train at 6am.  We took the express train to Agra to go see the Taj Mahal!  Very exciting.  It's good the pictures are blurry because all the people come out to use the bathroom between the train tracks and the city wall!  It was good we were moving.

So we took a golf cart instead of a camel cart to the Taj.  We got our tickets and went through the gate where they check your bags and there were a dozen or so monkeys eating the food the guards were taking out of peoples bags.  No food on the grounds.  You can take a bottle of water, but that is about it.  The Taj was built in 22 years for the Sultan's second wife.  She died giving birth to their 14th child.  On her death bed she asked that he not marry again, which he did. To take care of their children and to build her a memorial that was original.  So he spent all of the peoples money and build the Taj Mahal.  His wife is buried under the taj.  As you approach the Taj you come to a gate built out of red stone that you have to go through to see the Taj.  Our guide, Ramish, said it's like unveiling a beautiful woman or object.  The wall and gate were built after the Taj was finished and there are 22 small white domes on top of the gate representing the 22 years it took to build the Taj Mahal.  

 Good Bye Taj.  We then went to see the Palace that was built before the Taj Mahal.  You can see where they stone carvers got some of their ideas and designs from.

 We were able to sneak into a locked area with this man holding the candles.  He had a key to the women's baths.  There were tubs built in the middle of the floor and the ceilings were decorated with small pieces of glass making all the different patters.  When the women would bath, they would light an oil lamp and the ceiling would reflect the light in all of the glass pieces.  It was really beautiful.

 This is where the sultan sat and the designs in this part of the palace were inspired by the persians.

 Ok, we are off to find some lunch and I just took pictures out the window of our cab.

 People were harvesting potatoes in the fields.  We also saw smoke stacks where they were making and firing bricks, and we also saw some shepherds herding their sheep.

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