Blogs from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, Asia


Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra March 5th 2019

Agra Fort was built in the 1500’s and is really a walled city... completely beautiful and AMAZING! it was home for Shah JaHan who built the Taj Mahal... which you can see from the windows.... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra March 2nd 2019

We had always assumed the Taj Mahal was all white... it is bursting with color! The white marble has stunning inlay of lapis, carnelian, malachite and onyx. ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra October 27th 2018

This morning I got up before dawn and was taken to the Taj Mahal to watch the sunrise. It was spectacular. The moon was (almost) full, so it was setting in the west as the sun rose in the east. I walked all around the building and we went inside, too, to see the graves. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj as a tomb and a monument to his wife Mumtaz Mahal after she died in childbirth. Husband and wife are both buried there. The tomb building and dome are symmetrical and pleasing to the eye, but the detail work on the walls is also remarkable. I think I mentioned the stone inlay work, but there are also masterfully carved reliefs and gorgeously intricate screens. I took many photos outside - no photos are ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra October 26th 2018

This has been a busy day. I saw a lot and have more pictures to share than I have space to show them. This morning I left Delhi early - we were on the road at 0700 - and my driver took me to Mathura, a city on the banks of the holy Yamuna River. I wanted to see an Indian ghat, a word that translates as “wharf”, but is used for many different activities. For example, the famous ghats in Varanasi (on the holy Ganges River) are used to cremate the dead and scatter ashes. I am not going to Varanasi, so I stopped here to see a ghat that is used by Hindu pilgrims to splash water on themselves and swim in the same place that the god Vishnu once did. From there we ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra September 25th 2018

The plan for today was to arrive in Varanasi around 1120, after a (relatively) luxurious 1AC overnight train journey. This has not happened. When booking there was no availability on the train from Agra to Varanasi so we had to get a connection to New Delhi and pick up the train from there. Unfortunately our train to New Delhi arrived 2 hours late and we missed our connection by about 10mins. None of the trains we’ve got have been on time, unfortunately the one time we need one to run slightly late it was actually on time! On the plus side we had at least found something to eat on the train. After double checking our train had definitely left the platform we heading over the the enquiries office to find out if they could give ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra September 24th 2018

Today we managed to wake up at 5am and leave our hotel by 520am to head over to the Taj Mahal for sunrise. The ticket office opens 30mins before sunrise and the gate itself at sunrise (0605 at present). Despite all the guide books recommending sunrise it was not very busy at all and it was pleasant being able to enjoy it in relative quiet. The tickets are extremely expensive - 1100 rupees each for foreigners. There doesn’t seem much point coming to Agra and not seeing the Taj though! Interestingly enough chatting to a local he was saying when the government first increased the prices for tourists there was a week long strike in Agra. Since the price increase they’ve noticed fewer people staying in Agra meaning the hotels, restaurants and tuk tuk drivers are ... read more
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra September 23rd 2018

All the advice for travel in India recommends leaving plenty of time for transport issues and today we are very glad we heeded this advice. After arriving at our hostel in Agra at about 4am this morning (8hrs late) we decided that there was no way we were waking up early enough to head over to Fatehpur Sikri, a ruined Mogul city 40km outside Agra. Fortunately we have enough time in our itinerary to take it easy today and wake up early to see the Taj at sunrise tomorrow instead. Unfortunately the ruined city is now off our itinerary. After breakfast and checking in we walked towards the Taj to get some cash and get our bearings. Having found where we need to go tomorrow morning we headed over to Agra fort (being tired we went ... read more
Ganesh idol
Agra Fort
Agra Fort

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra August 13th 2018

Agra and the Taj Mahal After a less than successful overnight train – constant snoring and shouting being detrimental to any form of sleep, I arrived in Agra at 6am. As usual I was met by the groups of tuk tuk drivers all wanting to give me a ride. However I had other plans. As I really hadn’t slept, I decided to try and change my following train to give me another night in Agra to catch up but the booking office didn’t open until 8 so I had a while to wait. As usual, sitting anywhere for longer than 2 minutes leads to people coming to sit and sell me something/practice their English. This time was no exception. 2 tuk tuk drivers would not leave me alone, seemingly destined to sit with me for at ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra July 7th 2018

I guess it was good to get there at 6AM, but it was already sweltering, and I had hardly slept the night before in a shoddy room in horrid Agra, where the Tuk-Tuk ride from the train station with homeless children poking us for money led us through chaos even on a Friday when everything was closed, and a new level of sewage smell that pervades all (except perhaps the lovely Joney's Place for any meal), so we enjoyed the tomb aesthetics, momentarily wishing to be the body encased inside, and stayed for maybe an hour before leaving to desperately find a way to escape that circle of hell before our scheduled train at 3:45PM, in the end going with the India flow and taking the advice of a Tuk-Tuk driver to take an 11AM bus ... read more

Asia » India » Uttar Pradesh » Agra April 9th 2018

"Wow, how have you not visited the Taj Mahal being in India ?" is the first reaction you get from most of the people when they get to know that you have not visited it yet. It sure is something to be ticked off by any proud Indian but I guess there are a lot of people who are in the same bucket. So was I until ....... When Abhishek Verma, one of my work mentors announced his marriage, all former teammates started making our plans to attend this much awaited wedding. When you travel that far, you might as well tick off a few places of interest from your bucket list and that is exactly what we decided to do. Initially, Nikhil suggested Nag Tibba trek as an option and as with any event, the ... read more
Agra Fort at Night
Taj Mahal Entrance in the morning

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