Thursday, July 12, 2007

Teasing Us In Agra

Mannie, Our auto rickshaw driver takes us to the Agra Fort which was built by the same builders as the Delhi Fort; Shah Jahan , four hundred years ago. It would cost us 400 rupees to go inside ($12 CAD) so we grab a couple of snapshots and move on. We have one day to do this town and then we are off on the train, so we have to keep moving.
The driver takes us to the 'Baby Taj' It is made with the same skills and materials as the regular Taj but is much smaller. We feel like we're being teased all day because we know what we really want to see. I have to admit I am more interested in all the monkeys running around the grounds.

Manni drives to a site across the river from the Taj. It's a dream world in the distance that we glimpse everywhere we go. Shah Jahan began construction of an identical Taj next to where Aw is standing. It was to be done in black marble, but he was never allowed to finish it. I'm glad we have this driver to show us places like this. We wouldn't have been able to find our way here on our own.
Mannie takes us to one more vista to see the Taj in the distance. These rocks were built into a modern estate but the City of Agra overruled the development here and ordered the buildings to be destroyed. It seems the City officials were able to see beyond the immediate profits of this settlement, in order to preserve the ancient sense of this mystical place. Our driver wants to take us to some more locations but we tell him to stop. It's time to see the Taj Mahal.

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