November 12, 1961 – India

Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi, India – Clear

     Edith and I got up early and got ready to travel by car to Agra.  I wasn’t really looking forward to the long drive because I’d heard the roads were rough.  We had a good breakfast and then afterwards all met in the lobby to separate into different cars to head out.

    I traveled in the same car as Edith, Beth, Mort and the driver.  The ride was a hard one because of the dust, pot holes and rocks.  The drive to Agra was 130 miles but it took what seemed to be hours and hours to get there.  Most of the roads were one lane macadamized or paved by successive layers of broken stone compacted with asphalt or hot tar.  We encountered several detours along the way because of the building being done by hand on the road.  At one point I did a double take because I realized that many of the people I saw working were women who carried baskets filled with earth on their heads to dump on the pavement shoulder.  I even saw children helping at times and it brought tears to my eyes. 

Natives Building Road

     We stopped enroute at Sikandra, a suburb of Agra, to visit the mausoleum of Akbar, a great Mogul emperor.  The pyramidal buildings were made from a combination of red sandstone and white marble in 1613AD.  Mahendra, our guide again for India, told us that Akbar had designed the tomb himself.  The colors were amazing and it was an impressive structure.

Mausoleum of Akbar the Great, 1613AD

     After leaving the tomb we traveled onto Laurie’s Hotel where we were to stay during our time in Agra.  It turned out to be a nice hotel and after we took our bags to our rooms, we met in the dining room to have lunch.  The meal turned out to be good but nothing spectacular.

Lauries Hotel in Agra

     After lunch we went on an afternoon tour to Agra Fort the tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daula who was significant to Akbar.  The fort was a diverse complex of buildings and all of them had an impressive history. 

Tomb of Ilmad Ud Daula

     Next we went to the Taj Mahal and it was quite spectacular.  It was one of the loveliest buildings I ever saw.  The Emperor had built it on the Jumma River as an enduring monument to the memory of his wife, the Empress Mumtax Mahal.  We’d been told the best time to visit the monument was in the late afternoon because the shadows and light bathed it as the sun got ready to set for the day so I was glad that was when we were to see it.  The Taj Mahal turned out to be much bigger than I had thought it would be but I loved it more than any other sight I’d seen so far.  I was glad that we were able to spend a lot of time wandering around inside and outside the shrine.

Entrance Gate to Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Rear of Taj Mahal and the Jumma River

Door Way of Taj Mahal

Tour Group at the Taj Mahal

     At the end of the day we returned to the hotel and I was glad because I was ready to eat and go to bed.  Our dinner was good and filled me up nicely.  Afterward Edith and I went back to our room, made ourselves comfortable, bathed and then turned in for the night.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Patrick S Poplin
    Nov 12, 2010 @ 20:58:52

    The Taj Mahal has been called the most beautiful building in the world, and I am glad Grandma got to see it. Her pictures reinforce the idea of the degree of its’ beauty. I believe seeing her pictures of it were the first time I’d ever heard of it.


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