A winter’s journey

A very Happy New Year my dear friends!! Hope this blog finds you in the best of spirits and health :). Well it has been donkey’s years since my last blog, but in my defence i had a rather busy vacation :P.

I had my cousins visiting me after three long years so you can imagine the amount of catching up left to do. To celebrate our family reunion we decided on a road trip to Agra !! What fun!!The drive turned out to be a long one given the traffic jams that were plaguing the roads, so by the time we crossed Noida, everyone was exhausted and sleepy well everyone except me and my little brother who was too busy with his video games ­čśŤ . It was late afternoon by the time we were completely away from normal civilization and completely immersed in┬ábucolic scenery, the rolling pastures,miles of greenery was a sight for sore eyes that are used to seeing nothing but concrete establishments all day long. The sun was starting to set and the sky had a┬ábeautiful pink glow to it, i had my earphones,my favorite playlist and this beautiful view, what more could a girl ask for?

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As we moved along, i couldn’t help but notice the stark difference in the lives the people in these areas led from the ones we are used to, everything was so much more simpler and straightforward, no complications.

By the time we reached Agra it was evening and the sun had set, we were all pining to set foot in the hotel. but that had to wait for another 30 minutes :(. When finally we did reach the hotel we were welcomed with a ’tilak’ and a refreshing honey ginger lemon water, the lobby of the hotel was equally welcoming with a huge Christmas tree glowing marvelously and made the long journey completely worth it. ┬áMe and my cousins couldn’t wait to see our rooms, we finally got our key cards and made a bee line for our rooms. We were so exhausted that we simply wanted to fling ourselves on the cozy beds,but mum and dad told us we had to go for dinner ,never had i hated the idea of food so much, but the hatred was not long to last when we saw the buffet spread waiting for us, before long i was stuffing my face pasta salads,baked veg, soups and so on, when i thought i could eat no more, my sister showed me the dessert spread minutes after i had finished saying i was so stuffed i would probably not be having any breakfast and on seeing the desserts i was like “Oh god where do i start from ┬á;P “, but i was so full i only picked up a mere piece of toffee pie and chocolate mousse ignoring the delectable baklava’s and ice creams ­čśŽ . after this we finally retired to our bedrooms with marching orders to wake up at 6 am sharp because we had to leave early to see the Taj Mahal .But for some reason neither of us felt sleepy enough to go to bed so my sister and i settled in our beds with a cup of coffee and a cup of green tea respectively and watched Gordon Ramsey cook ridiculously simple dishes -_- .

The next morning we were on our way to Taj Mahal after an amazing breakfast :p, we got off our mini bus and climbed aboard the battery operated vehicles that took us to the entrance where we met our tour guide who asked us for our tickets , after the security checks we finally made our way in.

The tour guide began explaining us everything about the entrances to Taj Mahal, sorry I was to busy taking in the architecture i zoned out half of what that dude had to say, everything there was so well maintained i was really surprised. But that was nothing compared to the beauty that was waiting for us.When we arrived at the main entrance to  the Taj, i was simply awestruck ,the detail with which every single carving had been done was breathtaking.

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The picture you see above is that of the main entrance to The Taj,in it’s heyday it was used as an entrance by the royals, there is┬áanother entrance next to it which is┬áa simple door that was used as an entrance by the commoners but now it is┬ásimply being used as an exit. The entrance itself was a piece of beauty,such intricate carvings adorned each inch of it, they were embedded with semi precious stones that were all hand carved.It took me a while to wrap my head around the amount of work required to build this structure and this was even before i had set my eyes on The Taj itself.

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The scribbles that you see around the entrance are prayers in Islamic, prayers like these are also inscribed around the entrance to The Taj. Every single piece, every single brick has a meaning in this beautiful architecture and to think that it was all accomplished purely by manual labor and manual tools is even more awesome.. really i am running out of adjectives to describe this marvelous structure.

When we finally made our way through the arc our eyes and brains were awestruck by the magnificent structure that lay in front of us, having survived through all these years whatever nature and man threw at it. The epitome of love, standing strong for many more centuries to come.Inspiring artists, writers and almost all living beings.

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  The gardens and the fountains surrounding the Taj were meant to symbolize heaven, laid out in perfect symmetry. The Taj itself is another mathematical marvel being symmetrical from whatever angel you look at it, the minarets are tilted a bit though not visible to the human eye, this is to protect the tomb in case of an earthquake so when one strikes the minarets surrounding the tomb fall outwards leaving the central structure safe. To be honest i am quite surprised i remember all this :p, we had to cover our shoes while entering the tomb to protect the marble and minimize the amount of dust etc. The interior of the Taj was even more beautiful and intricate and as i said earlier, i was.. i still am bedazzled and stupefied by thinking about the amount of work that must have been put into making this exhilarating, awe-inspiring structure.

The tour finally ended and we made our way back to our hotels.But the experience and memory of this place remains unrivalled for now, it is amazing to think what this place must have been like back in the old days, and even more amazing to think of the lives the people led in those days, to think that we were walking in the same place where history was once made, well that can be said for almost about anyplace but you know what i mean.

The trip also included a visit to ‘Fatehpur sikri’ (a fort), having it’s own incredible history but i believe that would call for another blog and quite frankly my brain really needs a rest now after all this recollection :P.

With this i bid you all adieu. Hoping for many more such adventures in this new year.

Au revoir

Mes amies

Ayesha Aggarwal

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