Hey! Did you know the design of the sultan’s palace in the Aladdin story was inspired by the amazing Taj Mahal in India? I didn’t know that. But it is believed so. Also it is believed that every traveler coming to India just must to visit Agra to see the Taj Mahal with own eyes, and if you will skip that journey then most of the people will just not understand you. Hey why did you come to India but didn’t visit the Taj Mahal? Are you all right? Visiting the Taj Mahal is people’s dream… Taj is one of the wonders that must to be seen at least once a life and you will be regretting about not seeing it, and maybe the next opportunity won’t arise soon. Your India trip will be incomplete without seeing Taj Mahal. That were the thoughts i had while booking my train tickets in India. I’ve heard many crazy stories about train travels in India, but nevertheless decided to try it myself. The hardest part was to find the right train, as everything seems so chaotic for the very first time, plus i had to go through few people outside the train station trying to convince me the train to Agra has ben cancelled due to the heavy rainfall last night, and if I wanna go to Agra, I have to book another ticket for another date from their company which i could find in 2 kilometers from here.. Sounds weird, right? Anyway I went through and found the screen table of arrivals and departures. And found my train number on it. It says the platform number 1. And the train has arrived almost on time. After that I had to look for the right train couch, the class of it was written on my ticket too. AC Chair. I went inside, found the seat number which also was written on my ticket, placed the luggage above, and started to wait for departure. I asked people around if the train goes to Agra and if the train couch is correct. I felt quite nervous after the situation with those scammers outside. There are several trains from Delhi to Agra, and I have booked the morning express which takes around two hours to reach the destination. The train coach looks surprisingly clean inside; every 30 minutes there appeared a cleaning guy, swiping the floor with a mop. I was even more surprised to see a guy giving out newspapers for free to anyone who wants one. The space between seats is quite large, there is a stand for your feet, stand for a bottle of water, a folding table, even a socket to charge your phone or laptop, which was really awesome! In 20 minutes after departure, i saw a controller checking if everyone has taken the right seat, and then i have been given lovely breakfast – a tea with a cookie. Sometime later, I got a bigger meal – a juice, 2 pieces of bread, and a box with chicken cutlet, which smelled pretty good. And as soon as I have finished enjoying the food, we’ve arrived to the “Agra Cantt” train station. Here i took a cab to the “Anukampa” homestay apartment which i booked on the train. I arrived a way earlier the check-in time, the owners still were sleeping, so i had to wait for a while till my room will be free. But it was quite soon. It was the best choice for travelers looking for a budget room with good reviews around Taj Mahal area – the distance was around 1 kilometer. The room was clean with a big balcony. It also has got a spacious clean big bathroom. Honestly, I just needed a place to stay for one night – to visit the Taj and Agra fort, and then start exploring Rajasthan, so i left my bag in the room and went out hurrying to the amazing wonder of India. And i gotta say the walking outside was quite interesting. I saw so many cows standing in the middle of the road. This scene is quite usual for India, and nobody pays attention to it. Only foreign visitors are getting amazed by that, but in a while everyone get used to see cows everywhere. I also have noticed a couple of monkeys on the way, extracting everything they can eat out of the street trash bins.. The area around Taj Mahal was pretty crowded, and I haven’t seen many foreigners there. The lines are very long, but as a foreigner you have to buy a foreign visitor ticket, which price is quite high comparing to a standard Indian ticket, but the same time it gives you a chance to use VIP line, and get inside almost instantly. And let’s be real, Taj Mahal is perhaps the most famous place in India, so if you haven’t come here in the early morning, then expect to see here not just few people. And it is still fine, as its territory is simply huge. I used to think the Taj Mahal is a palace. However it is not. The story says the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan has ordered to build a beautiful white marble mausoleum almost 400 years ago, which was dedicated to his favorite wife, who tragically died because of complications while giving birth to their 14th child. In the great sorrow Shah Jahan put the entire resources of his empire to build this amazing building. More than 20,000 people were working here day and night for 22 years until it has been completed. Construction expenses were huge – it was estimated to be around 32 million rupees at the times of Shah Jahan, but nowadays it would be approximately equal to 50 billion rupees (675 million Dollars US). Soon after the Taj Mahal’s completion, Shah Jahan was deposed by his own son and put under arrest at nearby Agra Fort. And when Shah Jahan died, his son buried him in the mausoleum next to his wife. Since then the world’s most romantic building houses 2 tombs – the Shah Jahan’s tomb and his wife. Unfortunately, taking photos and videos inside is not allowed. After spending few hours in Taj Mahal, i have ordered a bike with Uber and took a ride to the place where Shah Jahan was imprisoned – the Agra Fort. There were dozens of “auto” drivers outside the Taj, but i didn’t feel like i wanna negotiate the price, or look for an adequate driver who will be willing to get me there for the reasonable price. So far Uber and Ola apps provided to me the most suitable rates and very qualified drivers. So happened and this time. The ride took around 5 minutes. So what is the Agra Fort? It is a large and important 16th-century walled structure, which used to be the main residence of the Mughal emperors until the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. The legend says that Shah Jahan died here in a tower with a balcony overlooking the Taj Mahal, and that he kept on staring at the Taj till his last breath. Agra Fort was built of the red sandstone during the reign of Akbar – one of the greatest Mughal Emperors. It took more than 4000 workers and 8 years of hard work to complete the fort, which houses many beautiful structures, palaces and mosques. And also it is said that the fort has got a number of underground apartments and underground tunnels. It is interesting to know that Shah Jahan has preferred the white marble over the red sandstone, so under his reign many building inside were rebuilt accordingly to his style. Another interesting detail was that in the palaces built for ladies the small lattice windows were cut into the walls, and that allowed them to look outside without being seen. Today the Agra Fort is in surprisingly good conditions for 400 years old structure. The rooms still look much like they did in time of the Empire I haven’t noticed anything that would look like ruins here.
That was really impressive. The Agra Fort is also a very busy place; you definitely won’t be here alone. The area is huge, with lots of beautiful structures, and it would be better to hire a guide who will show you around and will explain what exactly you are seeing there as well as will share some interesting stories and legends. You definitely won’t regret! Well guys, that’s it! If you liked the video – then hit the like button, subscribe to my channel if you aren’t already, click the bell to turn your notifications on to stay tuned, and I’ll see you in the next video!