India23

India24

As we traveled through the bustling streets of Agra our horse and driver seemed indifferent to all of the activity and the strange smells created by a mixture the rubbish that was often well trampled into the dirt streets, the open sewers or the fact that some people just squatted down to do their business wherever they pleased and the multitude street vendors offering curries , roti breads and a host of other Indian cooking. The traffic didn’t seem to obey any sort of rules as buses, trucks, cars motorbikes, camels, cows, horses, ox’s people pulling makeshift carts and the occasional elephant jostled for position along the busy street. We passes a crowd by the river as we neared our destination. They lit a funeral pyre as we plodded by and said their last goodbyes and prayers for a loved one who had passed into the next life. Huge buzzards stood like sentinels among the poor in their ramshackle dwellings waiting for a life to end so they can pick at the bones. Finally we reach the gateway to the Taj Mahal, quite an impressive feat of architecture in itself, and farewell our horse and cart. Not knowing what to expect and a little shaken by all the sights we have seem so far we have our way through the gate and step into another world. Like a fairy tale palace the sight stops you in your tracks. The water features and gardens are perfect with the awe inspiring Taj Mahal in the background. Like princes we approach the entrance and marvel at the massive intricately carved blocks of marble inlaid with precious stones. As we walk around taking in every aspect of this wonderful place we wish we never had to leave. Looking our past the back of the Taj Mahal, cattle are being lead from the Yamuna river that lazily winds its way through the countryside oblivious to the daily comings and goings that make Agra and India such an amazing place.

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