We hired a car and driver for the 3.5 hour drive to Agra from Delhi – we took the expressway which has three small tolls. There is also a longer route which passes through villages.
On the drive we passed by goats and cows, brick making areas, which have large towers to fire the bricks and the cutest straw houses which house the seeds and equipment for the farmers who often live in villages a long distance away. It’s also quite common to see four people on one motorbike with no helmets – Mum, Dad and kids!
We passed by the Red Fort and then onto the Taj. You pay an entry fee and are given water and plastic shoe covers to wear inside, otherwise you can also go barefoot, which most locals do.
The gardens and entrance buildings are beautiful, which then lead up the Taj. The Taj is really impressive, made completely of ivory-white marble with beautiful engraved patterns and writing. It was built between 1632 to 1643 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife.
Our driver informed us that emperors back in the day could have up to 50 wives! At the Red Fort there is an area where the Emperors could hear the complaints of the people, and an area to hear the complaint of the wives.
As a depressing end to the tale, Shah Jahan was then put in jail at the Red Fort in Delhi by the new ruler and could see the Taj in the distance through his jailhouse window.
It was incredibly hot and packed, and a lot of people asked us for photos as there were only a few white people there. It’s quite common to be asked to have a photo. I find posing for photos really weird so usually decline but I did spy a few people taking photos of us on the sly! haha.
On our drive around Agra we saw monkeys, donkeys and cows wandering about. There was also dust storm, thunder and lightening as a storm rolled in – and even hail, even though it was 38 degrees.
We then stopped for lunch at the Oberoi hotel before heading back to Delhi, which was so plush and the lunch was delish.