After our long day at BHU the team was exhausted, we did a little bit more sightseeing, but then headed back to the hotel early. Urvashi, Atul, and I all were scheduled to fly out the next morning in 3 opposite directions. Urvashi was off for a week of meetings in FireEye’s London office, Atul was off to Delhi to visit family for the weekend then back to Bangalore, I had arranged for the weekend in Agra to visit some of the must see sights on my free weekend.
The flight from Varanasi to Agra is only about 25 minutes long in an extremely small plane! Amazingly the day I landed was abnormally clear for a December day in Agra. The winter months can be very hazy especially in North India, so it was an unexpected surprise. Not wanting to squander the great visibility I arranged to visit the Taj Mahal later that afternoon.
Pictures simply cannot do the Taj Mahal justice! It is a spectacular sight silhouetted against the soft blue sky; it really does look like a movie backdrop. I spent about 2 hours wandering the grounds, learning about the history and architecture, and people watching. In professional photos of the Taj Mahal there are absolutely no people around, in real life there are thousands of visitors! It was so much fun to see the crazy assortment of visitors from students coming with their classes from small Indian villages all the way to wealthy visitors coming from all over the globe. It was a sea of cultures, religions, and backgrounds.
The next day I visited the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, both are “forts” aka palaces that were built over 400 years ago by the Moghul Emperor. It was crazy to see the opulence and excess in each of these humongous structures. If you are interested in history or architecture these are definitely a must see! I wrapped up the day pretty early as I had a 4:30am departure to catch my flight to Bangalore the next morning for a week in the FireEye India office.
I will wrap up my India journey in my next blog. In the meantime check out the city of Agra along with the other 2 cities making up “The Golden Triangle”, Jaipur and Delhi. All 3 cities draw hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and are filled with history, beauty, and wealth.