Around Agra

Everything in Agra links or reference the Taj in some way, understandable really, from the marble inlay in the tourist shops, to the gift shops the restaurant names even the local council uses the iconic shape as a text embellishment.

20161127_111210The baby Taj is no exception, predating the Taj Mahal by 50 plus years this small, beautiful and ornate building served as the inspiration for the Taj. It’s very pretty, with more detailed and intensive decoration than the Taj itself, also sitting on the rivers edge with a view towards the gigantic red fort, Agra’s other impressive sight.

A little distance from the Red fort this curiosity is worth exploring if you are staying in Agra. This small mausoleum  is similar in shape and layout to the Taj with a small garden and a nice riverside setting, it won’t hold your fascination too long, but is most definitely worth visiting, much more so than the park opposite the Taj.

When I think of a fort, I think of a building with a military purpose, stark, functional and imposing, sure the red fort is two of those things, but stark it certainly is not. With an excellent vantage across the countryside and town that surrounds the Taj the fort certainly shows it’s military pedigree with location. The excellent views out over the leafy banks of the rivers, dotted with hundreds of cows and water buffalos, small square kites dance in the sky above the rippling water and the toy sized mausoleum is near the distant horizon where almost as impressive as the fort itself.

If the fort was a single building I would have said the view surpassed the fort, however the fort houses a series of significant royal dwellings, glitzy, opulent and incredibly handsome. I was surprised when exploring the complex that through one door another different building would be present, with different architecture, quiet open space and well trimmed gardens, certainly worthy of the hours spent. I had to brace myself for the series of touts undoubtedly waiting outside, today is a day I am glad I have a motor rickshaw driver waiting for me and taking me around. p1050879