Monday, 16 July 2012

DOWN TO AGRA


Sunday: We only stayed on night at the wonderful Taj Mahal Delhi and we rose very early to get the 07:10 train to Agra, which is 124 miles south of Delhi.

We deftly made our way to Coach C2 of the Taj Express and entered the icy air conditioning.  It was a jolly carriage and one family settled an impressive five people on just two seats. Once we were safely on the move we opened up the breakfast box the hotel had kindly provided and tucked in.

By mid morning we arrived at Agra and the heat hit us like a slammed door. 

Agra was in the 1500 and 1600’s the centre of power in the region before the Mughals moved up to Delhi. It was again a conflagration for trade, academics and religions – Jesuits from the Portuguese settlements in Goa would journey here to engage in religious debates with the Muslim counterparts.




We engaged in some relaxation and reading before heading out through the town and across the Yamuna River to the Itimad-ud-Daulah, often referred to as the ‘baby Taj’. In fact the decoration rivals that of the Taj Mahal. It is a jewel box of marble and inlaid stone in a very delicate floral style that made much of local craftsmanship, for which the region is known.