Taj Mahal is an amazing morning run. If only I can stay a whole day there and see the changes of sunlights that hits the white marble just right… But my agenda today is to go to Agra Fort.
After late breakfast and early lunch at the hostel, I have the rickshaw driver (300₹) to take me to Agra Fort and while I’m here, bought traditional candy for 500₹.
Agra Fort was the center of the Mughal Empire since Emperor Babur and made capital by Emperor Akbar I, before Emperor Shah Jahan shifted the capital to the Red Fort in Delhi. Together with Taj Mahal, Agra Fort is declared UNESCO heritage sight. Entrance fee is 250₹.
Lahore Gate or Amar Singh Gate
Amazing mosaic details
Jahangiri’s Bath or Hauz-i-Jahangiri
This stone tank for water (hauz) is used for bathing. The Persian’s inscription and ornament carved on it by order of the Mughal King Jahangiri.
Jahangiri Mahal (Hindi: जहाँगीरी महल, Urdu: جہانگیری محل)
The place is for the royal women or zenana for the wives of Rajput King Akbar. The architecture style following Hindu, Central Asian and Islamic motifs. It was built in 16th century by the Maharaja as he established the capital in Agra by the Yamuna river.
The large entrance of the building is decorated and carved with from lakhori bricks bricks and red sandstones with white marble decorative elements. The building has square portico or deorhi with four arches lotus friezes carved like lotus petals and marble inlay.
The inner Jahangiri Mahal
The inner buildings in Jahangiri Mahal
Can see Taj Mahal from afar across the Yamuna River
Old decoration or part of the buildings
The Shahjahani Mahal constructed by Shah Jahan out of white marble
Roshan Ara Pavilion or the Golden Pavilions
Musamman Burj as seen from Jahan Ara Pavilion
The palace was originally made from red sandstone made by King Akbar in the shape of octagonal plan. It was also called Jasmine Tower or Samman Burj. When Shah Jehan became king, he rebuilt it with white marble. The building overlook the Yamuna river with wide open alcoves (shah-nashin) and decorated pillars. The water basin (kunda) is sunk inside and decorated with inlay colored stones.
This was where Shah Jehan ruled his Mughal Kingdom even though he moved the capital to Delhi. Then he was imprisoned here by his son, Aurangzeb, until he died. His body was taken by the boat, crossing the Yamuna river, to be buried beside his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, in Taj Mahal. It’s a sad story, I wonder how he felt if he was looking at Taj Mahal from the balcony until he died.
The large courtyard with arched galleries and small marble pavilion on the upper south side. The lower floor served as the treasury.
The hallway of Machchi Bhawan
Cute. The family playing on top of Takht-I-Jahangir or the Throne of Jahangir.
It was built in Allahabad and when Shah Jahan became king, the throne was brought to Agra. The large slab was made of black onyx from Belgium.
Is was made with pure white marble for the royal ladies for private praying.
Diwan-I-Am or the Hall of Public Audience
Tomb of John Russell Colvin
Moti Masjid from afar, made of white marble
Photo session. The scene makes me laugh because they’re cute styling this guy.
Khas Mahal or the Hall of Private Audience
The Emperor would meet the important guests for private. It was constructed in 1635. The interior hall or Tambi Khana have arch openings. The white marble palace was built by Shah Jehan with two halls, outer and inner closed walls.
Ladies, unfortunately there’s no water.
The deep wide trench on the side of the wall
Akbari Mahal, the older part of the palace
I end up not extending my stay and decide to go back to New Delhi with a bus. This is a bad decision for me because I have no idea how bad the street and traffic in the highway toward New Delhi from Agra. The poor condition of the bus is not helping either since it’s a cheap bus. 600₹ one way.
The story went like this, because of the heavy traffic, the reckless driver who wanted to push through the condensed cars and trucks, crashes the bus over another car. The passengers from the car, who obviously hot blooded men, are angry and go down the car, took several crowbars and smashed the front and side windows of the bus. Imagine how frightened I am since I’m sitting a few seats from the front rows. I duck and pray. Of course I’m protecting my head first from the shattered glasses. UGH. And the driver with the bus conductor didn’t help any and run off. Not helping you guys! And we even have families riding inside the bus.
So here I am, stranded 20-25 kilometers from New Delhi. Luckily there are a couple of foreign tourists with English speaking India people and they helped us to get another bus for 20₹ to New Delhi. What an experience. Thank God I get to Kamala’s house safe and sound. Next time folks, just stick it to train when traveling in India.
Since I’m back in New Delhi, next is to see Jantar Mantar.
- [Travel] Agra, Taj Mahal the Crown Jewel of the Palace
- [Travel] Agra Fort, the Crown of Mughal Architecture
Source: Taj Mahal website, Wikipedia, Travelwiki, India Eye Witness Travel.