See the Taj and die

On 9 January 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

Agra, this is one of the reasons that pushed me to come to India. This country worried me a little before coming but this wonder of the world was obvious to me, I could not follow the route of elephants without a detour to see it.

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So here I am after spending five days in Delhi on the train to Agra. Being taken at the last minute, I’m in a train on the Sleeper class . For those who have never taken a train in India , I’ll explain in a future article differences , which can be useful. After 3h therefore eyes wide open watching people on the train , I am arrive in Agra at 11pm. First good surprise, I made a last minute reservation at Pyrenees Guesthouse dorm but the owner told me that there was in fact no more bed available on the dorm. So he put me in a private double room with private bathroom for the same price (200RS, so 2.4€ ), perfect .
After a good night’s sleep and a small breakfast on the terrace of the GH , I am discovering a part of the city. I begin by going to the Agra Fort, a marvel … Much nicer than the Red Fort of Delhi , a number of impressive details , whenever you go into a new “room” is a new surprise awaits you. During my visit, I also met Johan , solo  Swedish traveler , with whom I sympathized and spent my two days in Agra !

IMG_3717 (640x427)Because of the visit of President of Maldives, the Taj was privatized until 3pm and then stormed by the crowd. So we made the choice to go on Sunday morning and do something else on Saturday. We then routed to the baby Taj, on the other side of the river. Already a beautiful building, then one wonders what was going to look like the real Taj when you see it! A large white mausoleum in the center with 2 red palace on the coast, overlooking the river. Really beautiful! After lunch on a terrace or a little one saw the Taj, we went to Gar Methab,IMG_3743 (427x640) on the other side of the river to watch the sunset over the Taj (recommended by the owner of my GH) . You enter a paying 100RS garden , and there , brace yourself … The first time you see the Taj , this is a unique moment of your life. It is a feeling that I do not even know to explain to you. You are calm, serene, amazed . Impressed too. It is a moment I will remember my entire life without any doubt . The view is amazing , perhaps the best that you can have ( and I tried about 5 or 6 places to see ), I really recommend it , not so much for the sunset but really for the spot itself! At the end the day, we had dinner at Joney’s Place , renowned restaurant backpackers , and a rooftop tea with 2 other Irish and Chinese travelers that Johan had met on the train in the morning.

IMG_3949 (640x427)Sunday morning, 5:50 am, the alarm sounds, it is time to see the Taj up close! Hint: try to buy your ticket the day before the official tourism station is on the main road that leads to the east gate of the Taj, on your right when you have the Taj behind you (only official place to buy your tickets outside the south gate, and less crowded but be careful even when the crowd who may reign!). So at 6:30, we were in the tail, the second has to wait until the door opens at sunriseIMG_3873 (427x640)around 7am. Unluckily, at this season it is not uncommon to have clouds and fog in the morning. So, returning to the famous place where everyone dreams with the fountain and saw the Taj, we had only seen a 2m front of us and … that’s it! A little disappointed at the time. But we walked all the way, visited inside, found the other 2 girls from yesterday by chance and therefore waited together until it rises. Around 9:30, we finally got to see the top of the Taj and the whole place in general. In the end, we spent about 3:30 in this magical place to watch everything, observe. Do not worry, I left with my tourist photo before the river and the Taj in the background, great time!

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After a late breakfast, we separated . With the girls , we went on the rooftop of Hotel Kamal , incredible view of the Taj , go check it out if you’re there ! And then I went solo on Taj forest , which is a large garden than anything else. Again, demented view of the Taj and different each time and most importantly, great time with women who worked there to replant grass. I asked them if I could take pictures , they accepted and I really had a great time with them, but it was simply a beautiful exchange . One of them asked me for money , the other 10 were automatically insurgent and asked her to stop (from what I understand ) and told me they just wanted to see the pictures.
The day ended with a lunch on the terrace of my GH again with a beautiful view of the Taj , before taking the train to Delhi ( and 6h transition delay e therefore arrival in the middle of the night) .

I’ve talked a lot in this article and I will never stop me but I’ll still let you ! I always told myself that after seeing some things like this in my life I am happy and I could die in peace . Do not worry, I do not want to die tomorrow but the Taj Mahal is one of those things where you say, ” I saw the Taj , I can die in peace .” By itself , it is worth the trip to India …

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