07th September to 09th September, 2016.
I guess that is what Agra is all about. Everything here revolves around the Taj Mahal. And for good reason. Despite being photographed and publicized to death, the Taj is still charming and beautiful. Here are a few pictures to prove our point. We will not waste time talking much about the Taj. There is nothing to be said that haven’t been said before.
The story with Agra fort is not that different. It is everything you expect it to be. The inlay work is intricate and the fact that Shah Jahan spent his last few days there makes the whole place a little sad. The small section where he was kept under house arrest has a distant view of the Taj. It also has a simple mosque, sleeping chamber and a bathroom. Stone inlay work similar to those found on the Taj is also present in the Agra Fort. However, all in all, the fort is rather under rated as a tourist attraction.
It was, however, nice to see the entrance built by Akbar. It contains Hindu, Abrahamic and Islamic symbols to represent his marital relationships with women of all three religions. Similarly, Jodha’s kitchen is an interesting part of the fort. Visiting it is no longer possible. It is now closed thanks to people immortalizing their love on the walls.
And finally, here are a few pictures of Agra petha. It is made from the ash gourd and sweetened (ideally) using honey. We especially loved the Paan flavored one that tasted exactly like the famous Agra paan.
Driving out of Agra was a hectic affair thanks to heavy traffic. The highway (AH 1) was rather monotonous. However, we reached Kanpur just as the Lakshmi Pooja was starting.
The drive from Kanpur to Varanasi took us through NH 27 and NH 19. We reached Varanasi after an uneventful drive, and brick Kilns kept us company all the way.