Monday, March 21, 2011

India 2011 - Day 9 - arriving in Agra

We arrived at The Taj Gateway Hotel in Agra in time for some to have a late lunch. This elephant seems to guard the elevators because you see it as soon as you step out of one.

View from our room.
 In the entrance of the hotel.

 We still have time after arriving in Agra to start our sightseeing.

The imposing Red Fort of Agra, comprising fairy tale palaces, two beautiful mosques, audience halls, pavilions, courtyards, and gardens all surrounded by a massive wall, a moat, and yet another wall. A creative, architectural, and strategic masterpiece, the Fort is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
 Also called Agra Fort, it was built by Akbar between 1565 and 1573 on the west bank of the Yamuna River.

This was a bathtub on wheels which was taken along when the emperor wanted to go hunting.

A glimpse of the Taj Mahal.

There is a large marble pool in front of Jahangir Mahal which, as legend says, in Nur Jahan's time used to be filled with thousands of rose petals so that the empress could bathe in its scented waters.

We were given free time and James and I actually got lost in this maize of rooms, hall ways and court yards.

In a cruel twist, Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, whose grandfather built the original Fort and who also assumed the throne himself, was imprisoned here at the end of his life by his own son - in a room looking out on the Taj Mahal across the river.

He supposedly was found dead with his eyes towards the Taj Mahal, the memorial he had built for his beloved wife.

 See the parakeets in the palm tree?

The colonnaded arches of the Diwan-i-Aam.
The Diwan-i-Aam with the throne-alcove of inlaid marble provided a sumptuous setting for the fabled Peacock Throne.

A stop on the way back to the hotel. Some of us needed to use the ATM.

Our room is somewhere in the middle.

Hotel (stainless-steel) art.

Hotel beauties.

1 comment:

  1. More monkeys!!! Lovely picture of you and James. I didn't know the end of the story of the Taj Mahal builder. Sad life.