Tuesday, 15 December 2009


Thursday 3 December: Agra Fort alone would put this small riverside town on the tourist map, but add to that the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Jadlah or 'Baby Taj' on the north bank of the Yamuna river and Agra is unmissable. A bicycle rickshaw (36th mode of transport) tour across the chaotic bridge is a fascinating way to see street life - from bikes piled high with tobacco leaf to fruit and veg laden hand-carts.
There is also another, larger monument to death - not disappointing in any respect . . . the Taj Mahal. Built by emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for second wife Mumtaz Mahal, his son imprisoned the old emperor in Agra Fort overlooking the Taj, presumably for squandering his inheritance on such a grand project - but aren't we all glad he did.
Day trip to the fortified ancient, short-lived, capital of the Mughal empire, Fatehpur Sikri.
Chilled beers in the local Jaiwal Bar accompanied by piping hot freshly-roasted peanuts with onion and herbs is how salted peanuts should be served.
Agra views.

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