Good old-fashioned romance

We almost skipped Agra and the Taj Mahal, put off a little by talk of infuriatingly persistent hawkers and seas of day-tripping tourists. Thank God / Allah / Shiva / Vishnu / Ganesh (& the 100,000 or so others) that we didn't. The Taj rightfully holds the title of the 'Crown of Palaces', even though its not actually a palace. The majestic marble mausoleum is a monument to love, built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their 14th child in 1631.

We took a lot of photos at the Taj, it's incredibly photogenic of course, but while very pretty that would be a little dull. So instead here are some really rather poor jumping photos!

Agra also lays claim to the massive red sandstone Agra Fort and, nearby, the incredible ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri. Poor old romantic Emperor Shah Jahan spent the last 8 years of his life imprisoned by his son in the former (& could only gaze on the Taj in the distance) while the latter was lavishly built by Emperor Akbar to celebrate the birth of his heir and to house palaces for each of his three wives (one Hindu, one Muslim and one Christian). Alas the area suffered water shortages and they only stayed there for 14 years. Oops.

(a little bit of) Agra Fort
Good old-fashioned bromance (between soldiers at Agra Fort)
Fatehpur Sikri
Emperor Akbar's bed at Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
We had the pleasure of going to Fatephur Sikri with a lovely Argentinian couple called Ger and Flor. And here we all are... smile! (shame we didn't all jump though hey?)

 

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