Jaipur and Agra // India

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To be honest, I’m not really sure how I feel about the last part of India well to be specific, our last few days in Rajhastan. After having an incredible time in Udaipur to being ripped off in Pushkar, there were a lot of mixed feelings and emotions were running high towards the end of our trip. It does not help that I was very fed up of being called Baby by Babu… So awkward.

So for the last bit of the trip, a part of me was screaming WHAT ARE YOU DOING!! YOU’RE IN INDIA! APPRECIATE IT! The other part was whining why aren’t I on a beach in Bali alreaddyyyyyyy?! Whilst India is truly incredible it is also an unbelievably exhausting country to travel and I think tiredness got the better of us. Do I risk admitting to you fellow travellers that Charlie and I may not have made the absolute most of these cities?

Moving swiftly on before any abusive comments start to appear!

Jaipur

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Rajhastan’s capital and a city painted pink after the Prince of Wales came to visit. I was really looking forward to Jaipur after reading Emi’s (aka. The Well Traveled Wife) posts after her trip back in November.

Despite any negative emotions/tiredness nothing could take away from the beauty of Amer/Amber fort. I might even go as far to say that this was my favourite fort yet.

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Completely surrounded by elephants, lakes, hills and mountains, you’d be crazy to miss this fort. You can ride an elephant up to the fort but I wouldn’t recommend it… you can read about my feelings on elephant riding here. Nevertheless it is always amazing to be in the presence of this enormous creatures. It fascinates me how such huge animals can have so much grace especially away from their natural environment. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be ripped away from your home and forced to take hundreds of tourists up and down a big hill.

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You have no idea how long it took me to get this picture… Everytime someone moved out the frame, another moved into it. ANNOYING. Charlie eventually got fed up of waiting and had a wander around whilst I waited patiently to snap my photo.

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We wandered around the narrow corridors of the palace where the views are truly breathtaking.

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I could not believe how young some of the Maharaja’s were! Some of them were pretty much King from birth (God forbid a woman in power).

We stopped off at a few other Jaipur musts before heading to Agra. Such as the famous facade Hawa Mahal…

The City Palace

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And The Observation Point

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I had low hopes for Agra as a city. Many people told me that it was very busy and dirty but in comparison to some of the other places Charlie and I have seen I don’t think it was actually that bad. But to be fair, we were told that we weren’t allowed to leave our hotel after nightfall as we were located in a “bad area”. Lord knows what that actually means in India. It could be the hotel owners making sure we can’t eat anywhere else except their hotel restaurant but nevertheless Charlie and I followed their advice just in case.

Obviously the main reason we came to Agra was to see the Taj Mahal. An absolute must for anyone visiting India.

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Because we had left the Taj Mahal until last, I had almost forgotten about it. The night before I was in disbelief. I think it’s safe to say the Taj Mahal is one of, if not the most famous buildings in the world and I couldn’t believe Charlie and I were going to be so lucky to see it in real life.

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We had decided that we wanted to see the Taj as early as possible. Charlie is physically incapable of getting up any earlier than 7, so we asked Babu to pick us up at 7 on the dot.

I bounced with excitement in the car as Charlie blearily wiped the sleep from his eyes.

We bought our tickets in the shortest queue ever, I really couldn’t believe our luck and after asking our guide, I quickly decided we made the right decision to come so early because the queues at 2pm yesterday were three hours long. THREE HOURS! In Indian heat! Nonono.

The Taj Mahal was everything I expected it to be and more. I couldn’t believe I got to see my second seventh wonder of the world.

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Mumtaz Mahal was the third and favourite wife of Shah Jahan. Whilst Shah Jahan’s other two wives each have a gateway to the Taj Mahal, the main gateway and the Taj itself was built for Mumtaz, who was the favourite because she was the only wife who could provide Shah Jahan with children and she died after giving birth to their fourteenth child.

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Charlie had told me that apparently there were hundreds of rats in the Taj Mahal. I can now inform you that Charlie was wrong and there was not a single rat in sight. Just the tombs of Mumtaz and Shah.

Did you know…. The building of the Taj Mahal is actually relatively basic, it’s the art and detail that went into decorating the Taj Mahal. After 500 artists had finished working on it, Shah Jahan cut off all their hands so they could never make another Taj Mahal. A severe price to pay after helping to create what would become one of the most famous building in the world.

The rest of the day was spent mentally preparing ourselves for our first of three overnight trains… We definitely needed that mental preparation..

I’ll tell you more next time.

S x

 

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