<<  Agra, 15-Feb-2015  >>

Yep, Taj Mahal

The great, the maginificient, the celebrity, … the tourist trap… Taj Mahal. The greatest, whitest and most opulent tomb ever built for a lover

Night train from Varanasi to Agra. The worst night train ever, with an Indian soldier annoying us all the time about where we should put our bags and which way we have to sleep. The intention was good – prevention of crime, as supposedly train from Varanasi to Agra is infamous for robbing – but the way he did it made us wanna throw him from the train together with his machine gun. We even had to sign a paper that we understand the risks of the train and will follow the instructions.

Then Agra for 6 hours.
3 hours in Taj Mahal, 1 hour in Agra Fort and the rest spent at train stations and bus stations trying to get to Mathura or Vrindavan where we intended to sleep.

Taj Mahal. Yes, I had seen it before (6 years ago) so I was not shocked. Yes, it is beautiful. No, I don’t like it too much :-)
The palace (ehm, the tomb, or mausoleum to be precise) is amazing, but the atmosphere of the place is NOT. 100 000 people on the compounds, each of them trying to get that original selfie with Taj Mahal. It looks like a giant photo shoot. People don’t even look at Taj Mahaj with a naked eye, everybody is just obsessed by the photos. I’m not different of course, but the scale of this photo session is just absurd.
Taj Mahal is an island within India. Suddenly the lawn is green and neat, there is no dirt and most of the tourists look posh. That would be all OK if only the difference between the rest of India wouldn’t be so striking. This renders it similar to Disneyland for me, and so, no I don’t like it too much.
Few streets away from the glamorous Taj Mahal we walked by a typical stinky poor ghetto, where people live under a piece tarp and plastic tied to few sticks. The Golden Triangle (firmly established, basic tourist itinerary in India: Delhi – Agra – Jaipur) was not too golden there.

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     MARCEL STRBAK | www.strbak.com | www.facebook.com/marcel.strbak