The Taj, We arrived on Friday and yep the Taj is closed Friday… Sat am we were up bright an early almost 1st ones in the gate, zoomed to the main viewpoint for 1st light and… no water in the fountains… ack! hard to capture the famous reflection without water. After some sleuth work we figured the pump had failed and tomorrow it would be fixed…
Taj Mahal, Mary and no water..
Still had a nice day wandering the Taj and planning tomorrows re-visit…
Of course things never turn out as planned and that night was the attack of the killer scorpions! After talking with several people about scopions in India I am kinda stunned to be still alive, it turns out the red scorpions are very deadly even the small ones and although the bite site does not swell up much the venom goes to work on the heart. I should have gone to hospital ASAP instead of going back to bed, seems like an Angel is watching over me 🙂
The day after the bug attack although my arm still hurt a fair bit I felt just about well enough for a distraction from the nights trauma so around 3pm we went out to the Kailish Bazaar. As we wandered the narrow streets and saw cows hoofs being cooked on an open fire we should have known all was not well.
Cows hoofs anyone? Lovely cloth market.
Black smoke looms over a crowded market.
soon smoke filled the sky and people were flocking away from whatever was the source, our ped-cab driver found us and we fled the scene hearing later that 180 shops were burnt and several people died in a clash between those that eat cows and those that do not.
How is your Hindu reading? Hotel Sheela
Our hotel “Hotel Sheela” is a true oasis (including scorpions and palm trees), its in a part of old Agra near the East Gate of the Taj Mahal and no cars are allowed on the streets as a security measure. Peace and quite in India! next day we traveled to the far side of the river in search of a reflection of the Taj in the river, no luck the entire river bank is a wall of 10ft high razor wire with security towers every 100 yards.
What was once an idyllic scene has been transformed by the fear of terrorist attacks and no one is allowed near the back of the Taj. Not to bee put off by a few machine guns and swarms of police we found a tiny wooden government ferry that ferries farm workers across near the Taj to Agra, a few rupees later and we are floating in the sacred river on the other side of the razor wire right into a classic Taj Mahal reflection.
We finally went back to see the Taj from the inside again, the grass was too long so Mary helped cut it.
We finally said goodbye to the Taj and headed of to see the Erotic sculptures of Khajahuro.
The Taj is as awesome as they say. If the Mogul king who had it built had not lost his mind and had the architect killed/blinded there would have been an identical structure in black marble on the opposite bank… so says history.
I hope you are now in the coolness of the Himalayas and all the problems are behind you.
Wow you guys! You sure have had a few very close calls. That heat sounds deadly. We, on the other hand, have been getting very dreary, damp weather. It feels more like October than June.
I love the photos of the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan built it for his wife after his death, but did you know he had 3 other wives? There are no monuments to them, in fact, history had completely forgotten their names.
Love reading the blog, post again soon!