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Agra & New Delhi

Taj Mahal and New Delhi sights: Red Fort, Raj Ghat, India Gate & Rashtrapati Bhavan

Date: 3rd March 2005

The next day, after Vivek’s wedding, we left Jaipur in the after noon by bus and headed for Agra. We took the state bus which was quite cheap (and very basic in every shape and form).

We reached Agra by 5pm and took an auto straight to the Taj Mahal. It was already sunset, so we really didn’t have much time.

We bought our tickets, paid for our camera fee and got in.

Taj Mahal entranceTaj Mahal entrance touristsI was budding with excitement as I was finally going to see India’s most famous monument.

Taj Mahal Agra eveningAnd though my photos may not paint a rosy picture, trust me, it really was beautiful!

Taj Mahal Agra eveningI had no choice but to use the camera flash once inside.

Taj Mahal Agra inside ceilingTaj Mahal Agra Shah JahaanTaj Mahal Agra Shah Jahaan wall islamic

There really wasn’t much else I could take as the flash would have made the photos appear as though it was already night fall (which it wasn’t yet). Plus it was closing time, so we had to make our way out.

Taj Mahal tombAs cliched as it may sound, the Taj Mahal really is one sight everyone (especially if you are Indian) must see before they die. It’s a hideously romantic structure to profess one’s love for someone and will probably never be attempted again.

My only regret is that I wish I had gotten there a few hours earlier.

After making our way out and surviving the hordes of vendors pushing replicas of the Taj in your face, we sat down for a coffee break. We pondered about whether we should stay in Agra that night or head straight for New Delhi which was the next stop on our ‘tour’.

But Delhi it was.  So we took an auto to the Agra bus stand and boarded the bus. It was around 8pm by the time we left and we would arrive at New Delhi around 3am the next day.

New Delhi

Date: 4th March 2005

We were staying at a (crappy) 3-star hotel in the heart of the city, pretty close to all the major sights we planned on seeing. So in the morning, we headed first for Red Fort (or Lal Qila).

Red fort New Delhi Mithun
Yeah that's me. Laugh all you want.

Red Fort Delhi Indian army stone

Red fort Lahore gateRed fort New Delhi entranceRed Fort Khas MahalRed fort Khas Mahal descriptionRed fort Khas Mahal monumentRed fort Khas Mahal structureRed fort Khas Mahal marbleRed fort Khas Mahal Delhi

Red fort panorama New Delhi
(Panorama comprised of 3 shots)

Red fort Diwan-i-am Delhi

Red fort Indian war museum building
Indian war museum at Red Fort

Red fort Indian war museum New Delhi

Here’s a brief video I took:

We had a relaxing meal at a coffee shop/restaurant at the Lal Qila itself, which was nice. After that, we moved to our next stop (across from the Red Fort) — Raj Ghat.

Raj Ghat park New Delhi public parkRaj Ghat park New Delhi public park school kidsThe massive public park houses several memorials in honour of some of the greatest Indians that helped shape our nation. First up, the greatest of them all — the  Mahatma Gandhi memorial.

Raj Ghat Mahatma Gandhi memorialRaj Ghat Mahatma Gandhi memorial from above

We then walked down the bricked path to check out the rest of the place.

Raj Ghat park New DelhiRaj Ghat park lake squirrelThere’s a fairly large pond in the middle of the park which makes this place all the more serene.

Raj Ghat park lake ducks stoneRaj Ghat park pond stone pigeonsRaj Ghat park pond ducksRaj Ghat park geese DelhiIf you like geese, here’s a video:

The day wasn’t the brightest Delhi offered, and we even got a brief moment of drizzle — but the somber skies suited the next few sights.

Raj Ghat park New Delhi brick pathMore memorials, these mostly honouring the Nehru clan.

Raj Ghat Nehru memorial New Delhi
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru memorial
Raj Ghat Indira Gandhi memorial
Indira Gandhi memorial
Raj Ghat Rajiv Gandhi memorial
Rajiv Gandhi memorial
Vijay Ghat Lal Bahadur Shastri memorial
Lal Bahadur Shastri memorial

Raj Ghat Rajiv Gandhi memorial plaqueRaj Ghat park stonesRaj Ghat bricked pathVijay Ghat New Delhi

After walking around for nearly an hour, we took an auto and headed for India Gate.

India Gate road New DelhiIndia Gate road New Delhi monumentIndia Gate road New Delhi monument close upIndia Gate New Delhi monumentIndia Gate Amar JawanIndia Gate New Delhi fountainIndia Gate New Delhi parkWe followed down the straight road from India Gate which took us to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan.

Rashtrapathi Bhavan India Gate

Road to Rashtrapathi BhavanRashtrapathi Bhavan New Delhi

To our right was the parliament house…

Indian Parliament house New Delhi… but we weren’t allowed near the building nor were we permitted to take photographs from up close. Oh well.

Back to the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Rashtrapathi Bhavan New Delhi buildingsRashtrapathi Bhavan New Delhi lamp post

Rashtrapathi Bhavan New Delhi buildingRashtrapathi Bhavan New Delhi buildingRashtrapathi Bhavan New Delhi offices

Rashtrapathi Bhavan presidents palace Mithun New Delhi
Me in front of the President's palace building. Not sure why I wasn't smiling.

Rashtrapathi Bhavan India Gate distanceAs an Indian, you can’t help but feel patriotic when you are in this part of Delhi.

Of course, there is much more to the capital city. It is after all famed for its shopping and street food — but we had to catch a flight back to Bangalore the next day and we were a bit knackered with all the walking we did. So we went back to the hotel and rested.

The next day, it was checking out of the crappy hotel, hopping into a taxi and heading off to the airport.

Taken from inside the car:

Teen Murthi New Delhi
Theen Murthi
Barah Murti Mahatma Gandhi statue New Delhi
Barah Murthi

Barah Murti Mahatma Gandhi statue New Delhi

Camera used: Canon Powershot A95; post processing done in Photoshop CS3

P.S: Here’s a video I took while at Rashtrapathi Bhavan and India Gate:

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