Being a Tourist, part 1 (The Taj Mahal)

About the middle of our trip to India we decided to become tourists. This meant we could wear shorts and take lots of pictures!

After a late night flight from Varanasi back to Delhi, we woke early the next morning to catch a train to Agra, the home of the Taj Mahal.

Our 10:30pm flight, on Spice Jet, from Varanasi back to Delhi

People would sleep on the train platforms while waiting for their next train.

From Delhi to Agra is about a 2 hour train ride.  This would be our second train ride in 4 days.  This one, though, would be much be less stressful. The first time we entered the Delhi train station we were late. We had to push (literally) through “security” which was a metal detector that did not work, a guard who was not paying attention and a bag scanner that was just a conveyor belt.

Inside the station we ran to our train on platform #16.  As the last of us stepped on the train it started to leave the station. But the train Agra would be more a little more leisurely, since we were just being tourist.

The first place we went was to the Taj Mahal. The Taj is a mausoleum for the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal.  It was a perfect overcast day.  But that does not mean it was not hot and humid still! The Taj is a marvel of craftsmanship and a deep expression of man’s grief over the loss of his wife. The Taj took 22 years to build. Unfortunately, you can not take pictures inside the actual Taj, so here are some of my favorites.

The classic view of the Taj.

Debra and I in front of the Taj Mahal.

Dan wanted one of those pictures that looks like he is picking up the Taj. Our tour guide knew the perfect spot. Ryan, on the other hand, did not.

Through this gate lies the Taj Mahal.
Ticket to the Taj Mahal.

The entrance into the tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

Everyone is taking pictures!
Other Taj tourists from the region of Ragisthan.