Wednesday, August 5, 2015

FatehpurSikri and Taj Mahal

So finally I planned to visit the seventh 7th wonder of the world “The Taj Mahal”. The total distance of Agra from my home in Gurgaon is approx. 270 KM which included my travel to Noida and a stretch of 180 KM on Yamuna expressway.
 
We started early at 5:30 am. The drive was smooth and we made a small halt at a roadside restaurant.  Few things what one needs to make sure while driving on the Yamuna expressway is to fill your vehicle tank and tyre pressure. Do check the backup tyre as well.
 
We reached Agra around 9:30 am and checked into a decent restaurant which had awesome reviews on tripadvisor.in However, what we got was much below our expectation as our experience was not that great. The AC in our room did not work which we realized after we had already unpacked our luggage. Ok they did change the room and transfer us to a much better room but because of all this we lost more than an hour. Our plan was to visit Fatehpur Sikri on the 1st day. Post relaxing for an hour we started our journey to the historical place. The road was really bad.  We were also stopped by the local police for a routine check where the cop wanted us to drop his junior somewhere. Our privacy mattered to us and hence we refused. The nightmare started as soon as we crossed Agra. It seems UP government has no clue what is a road all about. We also got stuck at a railway crossing for more than one hour!
 
At last we reached the historical building of Fatehpur Sikri. Well, mismanagement seemed so prevalent when some local goons tried to extract money in the name of MCD tax!!! Avoid them and confidently shoo them away. After paying a huge parking charge we somehow reached the bus stand from where we had to board a bus ferrying to the main historical site. Beware of the shopkeepers who can bug you to visit their shop and even thrust their visiting cards to you. Do not talk to them, lest they should make you buy from their shops, at any cost!I assumed it to be a free ride, but the Ministry of UP tourism charged us Rs.10 each. Seems a small amount but I think they shouldn’t charge. No wonders why people call it Ulta Pradesh.

 
As soon as we reached Fatehpur Sikri, we asked ourselves if it was worth going as it was the same Mughal architecture we had seen in Delhi and Jaipur. There was nothing new, yet we have to spend some time there to justify our efforts of reaching there. There was nothing special about that place. So we spent nearly an hour and returned to our hotel by evening.

 


Next morning we went to Taj Mahal and we lost our way because of absence of sign boards. The monument is a white legend and its beauty is mesmerizing. I can imagine how much hard work went into the construction of such a perfect monument in that era where everything had to be done manually. Taj is a perfect example of Mughal architecture without a single flaw; everything is so perfect that it will be hard to envision architects and designers using their imaginative power and basic geometrical tools. Colorful stones used were imported from far off places like Iran and Russia in the making of the Taj. We had visited in the morning so I managed to get some good camera shots. In the latter half of the day the place looks like a war zone with thousands of visitors pouring in and making the place densely crowded with no proper management.

The visit to the Mumtaz “Makbara” inside was like walking in hell. It’s not lit inside, and the place is overcrowded beyond capacity. To make things worse, a single point served as the entry and exit as well.  We somehow managed to drag our way out. The TAJ is a must visit place to admire the beauty of LOVE but poor management, over crowded place,  and eve teasing with foreigners make the experience bad. 

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