16.02.2015 - 16.02.2015 29 °C
So we have organised a driver to take us to Agra as the train and bus leave at inconvenient times for our less than 24 hour stay in Agra.
Our driver arrives and he had the nicest car in India haha it's spacious and has nice seats - no tears or stains. Can actually almost stretch my legs out.
The 5 hour drive to Agra goes quick as I sleep through most of the trip and we arrive around 2 in the afternoon.
We check into the hotel which is cheap basic but seems comfortable enough. We think about having lunch but as we are only here until midday tomorrow we decide not to chance things and head straight out for the Taj Mahal. It has felt like this day would never arrive and we are looking to shake off a disappointing couple of days in Jaipur with our visit to one of India's most famous monuments.
Arriving at the entrance it is interesting to see that they have priority tickets (for tourists) at $15AUD and Indian/a domestic tickets which they have to queue in a huge queue for for $0.40AUD. They then have the priority queues for tourist and different entrances - it all seemed a little rude in the end as guards push locals out of the way for tourists to get through.
The grounds of the Taj Mahal are magnificent and the surrounding buildings are very impressive on the approach. Reaching the gate to take you through to the outside courtyards and garden to the main area the first view of the Taj Mahal really takes your breath away and has such an impact due to its size and grandeur. The walk to get three is around 300 metres and every step you take towards the monument reveals different intricacies such as the marble formation, carvings, and different colour spectrums and the light reflects of at different angles.
You could spend all day here walking around but after 3 hours we decide we have spent a nice afternoon here taking in the views of the Yamuna river which is an arterial of the Ganges, the 'words cannot describe' Taj Mahal and the garden surrounds.
After leaving and avoiding the Taj snow globes and replica sales people we head back to grab some much needed dinner. The hotel staff recommend some Chinese specialties. We should have known better than to order other countries food in India and it is relatively tasteless but fills me up and I'm off to bed.