Friday, November 14, 2008

Agra, India

We flew out of Cambodia on Thursday morning and had under a 5 hour flight to Agra, India. We landed on a military base, which was weird, and went through customs with one person to check our passports. It took a while and it was hot! Once we got through we drove about 25 minutes to the hotel, dropped off our bookbags, and went straight to the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is heavily secured and you can take minimal things in. Very small bags are allowed. I guess when you think of India, the Taj Mahal is the one monument subject to terrorist attacks.

Our hotel is about five minutes from the entrance to the Taj and we took buses as close as they are allowed and then walked the rest of the way in. The streets were crowded and crazy! India is a very poor country. 15% of the population accounts for 85% of the GDP. The rest of the population either farms in the country side or lives in slums in towns. It was heartbreaking to see some of the people and animals that were lost and hungry. A big dose of reality.
Anyways, the Taj was unbelievable, it truely felt unreal standing next to it.

Since the Taj Mahal is all marble, we had to wear bootie are go barefooted so we didn't damage the marble.

Here is the Mosque located to the left of the Taj. On the right there is an identical building but it is empty and is just there for symatry.

The Taj is all marble and all the color you see in inlay work, not paint. The colors are all precious gem stones that are placed in the marble piece by piece.

Here is the Princess Diana shot, isn't this a great picture! The red dot is a dot of paint they put on us at the hotel. I washed mine off...

All of the rooms at our hotel, The Oberoi Amarvilas have views of the Taj and are beautiful.

After visiting the Taj we went back to the hotel for dinner and then we crashed!

This morning we got up and visited Fatehur Sikri, the abandoned city. It was a fortress build in the 16th century that was only occupied for 12 years. It was very interesting, as was the hour and fifteen minute drive there. We saw alot of India.

The rickshaw we rode up the the fortress in...

We ate lunch at the hotel after this and then went shopping! We went to the Kohinoor Jewelry Showroom. This turned out to be very interesting. The two families that made royal jewelry and the royal tapastries have combined their interest and made one showroom. The Jewelers have been in the business for five generations i believe. The jewelry was amazing, but the best part were the tapastries that were in the "museum." The stiching is 3-D and is not stuffed, it is just stiched over and over to achieve the right look. They are also cover in precious gems

This is the best one, and it took eveyones breath away. The man who sewed this was a Muslim, and no one expected this when it was unveiled for us to seem.

After shopping we went back to the hotel and got dressed for dinner.

Now we are done packing and heading to bed. We fly to Dubai in the morning!


TradingNuggets said...

Margaret and Diana,

OMG, how awesome are those images! Tell your Mom and Dad they have a nice summer house there in India!

Enjoy Dubai. Can't wait to see those images.

BTW. If you see my sister Bev over there tell her hello. She is staying at; Dhow Palace Hotel
Kuwait Street Phone: (011)(971)(4) 359-9992 She will be there until the 18th.

Where are you staying at?

Homefront Friday night football:
Both Hanover and Hoggard winners.


deborah said...

Margaret, Diana, Cathy and Lonnie,
Hello from home!
I just went on your blog tonight and love your pictures. You are doing a great job with your travel log.

Everybody here is fine. Sarah went to Winston-Salem this weekend, so I am in charge of the dogs and the frog. They are doing fine. The frog is maintaining!

I'm glad you are all doing well and we will look forward to seeing you when you come home.

Safe travels,