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Jaipur & The Little Known Taj

Part Two

View Around We Go on LauHot10's travel map.

Our train trip to Agra was only slightly delayed and we arrived about 11am. We decided on the way that we would sort out our next train ticket when we got there, so headed over to the reservation office and booked our ticket to Varanasi for the next day. Apart from the Taj Mahal there isn't a lot to see in Agra and the train didn't depart til 9pm, so one night would be plenty of time.

We had got the name of a guest house from the man who owned the one we'd stayed at in Jaipur, so told the tuk tuk driver to take us there. It was in the Tajganj district of Agra, which as it's name would suggest is very close to the Taj Mahal. From the roof top of our hotel, you almost got an uninterrupted view of the impressive building, for some reason they'd obscured the view even more with a parasol tied to a wall but nevertheless you could pretty much see it.
The rest of that day we just chilled out, we'd been up at 4:45am and we were going to be up early again to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise because apparently it's very beautiful. Another early night.

We were down at the East Gate entrance to the Taj Mahal at 5:45am, we were told though that you could not buy your ticket til 6am and that you could not enter til 6:20am. Which struck us as a bit odd because sunrise we thought was just after 6. Anyway we waited patiently, it rained a little for the first time so we were a bit concerned that we weren't going to get very good pictures but it cleared up quickly. Getting in we faced very rigorous security, a pat down and then a good bag search. Adam and I both got rejected initially for having ipods (the reasons were not explained) and we were sent off to put them in a locker. When we did make it in and we first glimpsed the Taj Mahal I was slightly disappointed, I think I just always expected it to be bigger. With more time though, once the sun broke through the clouds and you got a closer look at the patterns which have been created with the marble, there is no denying that it is a very beautiful building.

We left and went back to the guest house, we had to check out at 11am but our train wasn't til 9pm, so we paid 100 Rupees for a single room. I had avoided Delhi Belly but got struck down with Agra Aggravated Abdomen and so was thankful for a base. We decided later that we hadn't taken enough pictures at the Taj Mahal and we wanted get our money's worth, so we headed back for a second time and made sure our visit was well documented. This time during the bag search we found out that tic tacs are also a prohibited item and are not to be used inside, we couldn't quite figure that one out!

Our train ticket to Varanasi was a little confusing, there were codes printed on it that we didn't understand, so we asked a guy at the guest house to take a look. He told us that we were in fact on a waiting list and hadn't actually got a seat definitely reserved, something the ticket seller failed to tell us. We tried to check on the internet but the website was having problems, so we headed off to the train station early to find out the position. Another surly ticket man (yet to meet a truly nice one) informed us that we were on the train, and so drama was diverted.

We caught the night train and are now in Varanasi and will update again soon,

Adam & Laura

Posted by LauHot10 23:32 Archived in India Tagged round_the_world

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Glad you have managed to settle into the mind of a traveller - straight in, ticket booked, and out. Job Done!
Hope you're stomach has equally settled...
Where's the Moomins at the Taj Mahal?!
Sorry for the delay, I had the week from hell - a bit like that one before the students broke for Christmas...On a brighter note, I have tickets for Spandau Ballet's reform gig!!! Not quite the Taj I know.
Take Care xxxx

by Rachel M

Hey get off my lawn!!! I bet you enjoyed my bachelors pad the most so far...remember i built it in memory of my sweetheart in the 17th century!..im not bad for a 400 year old ;)!!

by Yassar

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