Friday, 7 January 2011

Agra, India

Agra has a reputation for being a bit of a dump. So much so that lots of people day trip to the city from Delhi, just to avoid staying the night there. However, besides the Taj Mahal I'd heard there were a number of other sites worth seeing in the city so decided to book two nights there. 

In the afternoon after visiting the Taj we paid a visit to Agra Fort. I was feeling a bit under the weather and wasn't feeling the love for the fort and hardly bothered to take any photos. However, even in my lethargic state I couldn't help but notice the phenomenal scale and grandeur of the place. If I was feeling a bit better it could well have knocked my socks off like the Amber Fort in Jaipur had.

The following day we hired a driver to visit Fatephur Sikri around 40km outside of Agra. We started by looking round the enormous Jama Masjid (mosque). It felt a little bit oppressive as we were hassled for tips at every turn. I thought it was a bit sacrilegious for a holy site!

After the mosque we visited the next door Futephur Sikri Palace. As I was queuing to buy tickets I heard the unmistakable sound of my sister's raised voice behind me very firmly tell a hawker "We're not going to give you any money!". We were left to look round the impressive red sandstone palace in peace after that!

My favourite site in Agra, aside from the Taj Mahal, was the Itmaid-ud Daulah's Tomb also known as the Baby Taj. It is said that it was the inspiration for the Taj. A real gem, away from the hordes of tourists we were able to freely walk around and enjoy the Baby Taj in peace. The building is amazingly intricate and the tomb inside lives up to the exterior, unlike at the Taj.

I really enjoyed visiting the Itmaid-ud Daulah. It ran the Taj Mahal a close second for my favourite site in Agra. Unfortunately mum was feeling unwell and spent the afternoon in the hotel and missed out, I think she would have enjoyed it.

1 comment:

  1. I'd love to know why that goat is wearing a coat (hey, that rhymes)!