In Which the Taj Mahal Knocks My Socks (or just my shoes) Off
Eight o'clock on day two of our adventures saw us out the door of the Hotel Pushp Villa heading for the Taj Mahal (already crowded).
What can I tell you? It lives up to the hype. It's one of theose sites that you can hardly look anywhere else when you're in eyeshot of it. Unfortunately it was another foggy day, but the Taj Mahal shrouded in mist had a sort of ghostly quality that seemed appropriate. As we took our shoes off and walked up into the actual mausoleum, I found myself being moved to tears. Here it was, one of the world's finest monuments, and it wasn't built to glorify some man's greatness, or even one god or another...it was a testament to the love of a woman, the work of a man who had no other outlet for his grief than to immortalize it. Sort of makes Ramses look like an even bigger douchebag.
After the Taj Evil and I went to Agra Fort. Going in...well, it looked pretty lame. I guess after the Taj pretty much anything will fail to impress; it's a tough act to follow. But as we wandered, we started to realize it was pretty fricking cool...lots of good architectural details, both Persian and Hindu.
Oh, and parrots. Have I mentioned the wildlife yet? We saw monkeys wandering free at the Taj, and TONS of parrots, here and elsewhere.
Onwards to Fatephur Sikri, through a market area of Agra. Apparently the Sunday ladies' market was on, and it was PACKED! The traffic and the garbage of THIS leg of the trip helps me to appreciate, more and more, Hyderabad. The mangy dogs and cows rummaging through garbage are particularly pathetic. Anyways, by the time we got to Fatephur Sikri, it was raining, and chilly (Evil will deny this, but it was), so we didn't stay long. Instead we came back to the main part of Agra for a little shopping and dinner at that mainstay of life world round, MacDonald's (don't hate - I have enjoyed LOTS of Indian food while I'm here and only eaten at Macca's once).