|Index :: Day 11 Darjeeling :: Day 09 Udaipur :: Day 05 Agra :: Day 10 Pushkar :: Day 07 Jaipur :: Day 06 To Jaipur :: Day 12 Darjeeling :: Day 06 The Taj :: Day 01 Delhi :: Day 08 Udaipur :: Day 04 To Agra :: Day 03 Delhi :: Day 02 Delhi :: Arrival At Night :: Weekend Trip bodhgaya ::|
|It's Friday! Things to do in Agra when the Taj Mahal is Closed.|
|The Agra Mini Taj and the views from the Red Fort|
The Mini Taj, aka Tomb of I'TIMAD-UD-DAULAHThe Tomb is that of Mirza Ghiyas Beg and his wife Asmat Begum. He was the Lord Treasurer for Akbar, the 3rd Mughal Emperor, and more importantly, was the grandfather of Mumtaz-Mahal, for whom the Taj Mahal was built. At the Mini-Taj we notice, for the first time, two things that we will continue to see throughout the trip. The first is that the people hired to cut grass are using sickles. There are three men, squatting in the quite lengthy grass, reaping huge chunks of it down to millimeter lengths. Even when we see a lawnmower in use, later in West Bengal, it still requires three men, takes just as much time, and yields less complete results because the areas around trees cannot be reached because they don't have trimming sickles with them. The second is that all bricks have the name of the company that made them written into the wider side of the brick. As we drove into the city we saw numerous kilns by the side of the road; these numerous kilns appear to be personal enterprises for a small family instead of being owned by huge brickmaking moghuls so the names that appear are common names like SILVER, MILAN, RUPAN, RANA, MONI, and SON. At the Mini-Taj the brickmaker of choice is Vijav.
We learn from our guidebook that, as with all tombs, there is a tomb for public show and then the actual tomb (complete with entombed remains) is directly under the public tomb. Rarely do people go to the actual tomb because there is no natural lighting and many living beasts that like the dark (think bats...then think of the smell of bat guano). The Mini-Taj is designed so that it is easier to access the underground passage to the actual tomb. We walk a long corridor, the cool stone soothing our bare feet, and arrive in a circular room with a great dome. A man breaks into a song of prayer to show off the acoustics, something he does for everyone who comes in. There is no sign of money being left and he makes no move to request any. Like the self-proclaimed preachers on the New York subways, there are those who choose to share their glory to god with others. Some flowers have been left on the tomb by some of the visitors.
a video of one of the workers makes the other two want some attention. Therefore there is a second video in which another worker is more interested in the camera than the work at hand.
Agra's Red Fort
Below are just a few of the Taj Mahal views that the imprisoned Shah Jahan would have had from the Red Fort.
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