Delhi & Agra

On Saturday, my friend Dana and I landed in New Delhi, India around noon. We took the long way – first flying fifteen hours to Guangzhou, China, before boarding a six-hour flight to the Indian capital after a two-hour layover. A direct flight to India would have been around 13 hours. There’s a silver lining though. On the way back we will have a nineteen hour layover in Guangzhou – which will allow us to experience the city a bit.

dsc05322

We are staying in the New Rajendra Nagar area in Central Delhi.

dsc05337

Dusk Saturday, from the rooftop of the building where we are staying.

dsc05340

On Sunday, we decided to go to the Taj Mahal, a few hours away in the city of Agra. Since we will be traveling to another city tomorrow, and the Taj Mahal will be closed on Friday, our first full day after we return to Delhi.

dsc05363-1

The Taj Mahal! It has an interesting story, and while using a guide provides less photo opportunities, I appreciated being able to learn the history what I was seeing as I was seeing it. Usually, I google places after the fact to learn their significance.

dsc05369

That being said, I don’t have the energy to retell its story here. I do know that this is one of two guest houses.

dsc05374

The Yamuna River, behind the Taj.

dsc05375

dsc05379

Another guest house.

dsc05383

I expected the Taj Mahal to be beautiful. I was surprised, though, by the lack of Western tourists. There were very few.

dsc05397

dsc05420

I was there.

Next we went to the Agra fort, a short drive from the Taj Mahal. It was built just following the completion of the Taj Mahal in only seven years, by around 15,000 men. It took 20,000 men to build the smaller but much more ornate Taj Mahal in 21 years.

dsc05431

As an architect, I appreciated this roof drain – the most ornate I’ve ever seen.

dsc05435

The Taj Mahal as seen from the Agra Fort.

dsc05440dsc05441

dsc05447

A little history here – Shah Jahan, who commissioned the Taj Mahal in honor of his third wife – was jailed in this part of the fort by his own son. According to our guide, the son was angered by his father’s desire to build a second Taj Mahal, in black, while poor people struggled.

dsc05472

I saw Agra mainly from a car window, unfortunately – so couldn’t take many photos. The rest of the trip will involve a lot more walking. Either way, I did notice that there were a lot of cows in the streets of Agra, often blocking traffic.

dsc05500

Thanks to a tip from a friend from high school, tonight we ate at Bukhara Grill in the affluent Chanakyapuri neighborhood of Central Delhi. The food was great.

It’s 1am now in Delhi, on Monday morning (2:30pm on Sunday in New York). I’m going to get some rest. Tomorrow around noon we board a plane to Jodhpur, the “blue city” of Rajasthan.

4 thoughts on “Delhi & Agra

  1. Thank you, David, for sharing your trip. I read every word, and soak in every picture. I can’t wait for more!

  2. David, I love your passion for travel, history, and life in general. Have a safe and wonderful time. Can’t wait to see more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s