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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 7 Agra - Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, and Akbar’s Mausoleum aka Baby Taj

I woke to the call to prayer coming from the Taj Mahal. I wanted to get up early to get my ticket and enter the Taj Mahal when it opened at 7:00 am so this wasn‘t so a bad thing. I stood in-line with about 200 other people. I haven’t seen many tourist along this trip so far, but you can’t help but see them in Agra. Lots of them are with tour groups making the short day trip from Delhi. Although, a few others are traveling around like me. There was this older couple that are heading to Nepal after India to trek to Everest Base Camp.

The Taj Mahal is everything you have heard or seen. It is a beautiful building and it just doesn’t look real. It looks like it is a painting.

After visiting the Taj Mahal, VK, the rickshaw driver who took me to the hotel yesterday took me on a tour. He is another nice guy. He took me to the Red Fort, Akbar’s Mausoleum and some places to take pictures of the Taj Mahal, lunch at a great quiet place (you would never know you were in India) and to some hand craft demonstrations (shopping).

Agra Fort was initially build as a military structure, but was transformed into a palace for Shah Jahan, the person who build the Taj Mahal, and where he would be imprisoned by his son for eight years after his son Aurangzeb seized power in 1658.

After visiting the fort we went to Akbar’s Mausoleum, the grandfather of Shah Jahan (builder of the Taj Mahal).

Then VK took me to some places to see the Taj Mahal.

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