Ah Agra, if you would not have Taj Mahal I would not visit you. Small town like that, over crowded with 4 million people, even India’s capital feels that has less people, because its stretched out.
What can I say, one-day trip to Agra is enough. Do not waste your time staying there, you can as well go to nicer city or town close by. Agra is very dirty, over crowded, people are extremely annoying in a way that they would sell you their kids if they could and are trying to over-charge you how they can.
The best time to visit Taj is either very early in the morning, I mean like 6 am, or about an hour before sunset, so go there just before 4 pm, because you will see the Taj in the best light and ‘mood’ and it closes after the sun is down because of security. Taj is not even lit up at night because of terrorism, it’s a way of protection.
Funny thing, government forbid others to over-charge tourists but they do it them self when entering any attractions. Taj Mahal’s entrance for locals is only 40 rupees and for foreigners 1.000 rupees. What a difference! As a foreigner you get a small bottle of water, shoe covers and fast track entrances everywhere, but still…. So pricy! They should be ashamed!
Anyway, it was still worth it. I wanted to see Taj and I think it would be mistake to travel India and not to see it. You simply must visit it if you are in India!
Some of you may have already read the story behind Taj Mahal but I’m going to say it again, because I really like it.
A 14 years old king met beautiful girl at a market. After 5 years they got married and she received a new name Mumtaz Mahal. She was king’s favourite, he was taking her everywhere, on meetings and trips and else. After giving birth to her 14’th kid she died. Broken hearted king had decided to have built the most beautiful mausoleum – Taj Mahal, and named it after her. She was buried in it. But because it was very expensive and the king wanted to build one for himself as well, the youngest son decided he deserves to be the future king and he killed all his older brothers and had his father the king imprisoned in palace so he can at least see the Taj every day and to be close to his wife like that. For many years nobody was allowed to enter the kings room, he was only given food, but nobody has spoken. Lonely, he died after 8 years and then was buried next to his loving wife in Taj, which is not symmetrical like the whole Taj is, because that was not in the plan. And they rest here till now.
For India this story is a big deal, because no man in the history of India had anything that majestic build for a woman to express how much she meant to him.
Wouldn’t you go to see it even just for the story?!