Rochelle in India 2006 travel blog

Introduction to Agra Fort layout.

Up to the fort entrance.

Main gate into the fort.

Inside the fort.

Roof supports.

Our first view of the Taj Mahal is from the red fort...

Building detail.

More detail ... and it's not red sandstone!

Archway detail.

Inlaid marble at Shah Jahan's daughter's palace.

More inlaid marble. Notice the pool for a fountain in foreground.

I just like these!

Or... this way.

I can't remember if this is in Red Fort or at Taj...

Approaching the gateway to the Taj Mahal complex.

Here is the main gate.

We catch a glimpse.

The traditional photo of the Taj Mahal.

But I like this view better.

Good view ... I must have scared the people away!

And more.

A bit of detail.

And some more showing the inlaid marble.

And still more.

Inlaid marble and bas relief.

Verses from the Koran done with inlaid marble.

Although optically appearing straight, the column tips away so in an earthquake...

Another building in the complex.

Sunset at the Taj Mahal.

Finally on to Agra ... ah yes ... the Taj Mahal, but first we have to pay our dues by visiting the Agra Fort. Bigger and better than the Red Fort and also built by Shah Jahan. (actually he provided the financing for all this and hired the architects and artisans to do the work. I'm pretty sure he didn't actually hoist the bricks.) Agra, the city itself, doesn't seem to have a lot that attracts tourists except the Taj Mahal. It's dusty, grimey and crowded.

And then the "Taj" as we jaded travelers call it, built in the 1600s. I thought it might look just like the pictures, but it doesn't. There is more to it than can be captured in a photo. And there really isn't much to say that hasn't been said. Myself, I prefer it from a distance ... I felt like the total effect was quite spectacular but is lost when you get too involved with the details ... one of those places where the total is greater than the sum of its parts. Gobs of people, the crush inside was even a bit frightening, particularly since it was pretty dark because it was very late in the day. We were there at sunset. And, of course, we had our pictures taken in front of the Taj.

A brief stop at a place where they do marble inlay work (like at the "Taj") and I resist all temptation to buy a marble elephant. Then dinner at the hotel. It's been a long day, I don't even care very much if I eat, and it is a good thing because the waiter forgot my order!

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