Mon 18-Nov Taj Mahal and Agra Fort
Taj Mahal
Mausoleum for persian wife. He is beside her. To left is mosque and right is guest quarters. Also there are buildings for other wives before main entrance. She was pregnant 17 times over their 19 years together, 3 miscarriages and 7 died young. He was imprisioned last 20 years by his son.
Built on wooden piles to absorb shock of earthquake, but the falling water level of the river is exposing the wood and may cause rotting
- the towers surrounding are angled out, so in an earthquake they will fall away from the main dome
- decoration of semiprecious stone inlaid in marble
Agra fort
- a horseman escaped the fort by riding his horse off the wall (killing horse), but emperor was impressed he had the gate below built saying, next time ride through gate instead
- english plastered over old walls
- emperor who built or was building taj was imprisioned here, but could see it
- note the layers of plaster allowing the frescos
- swimming pool
- note the cannon ball hole fired by british?
- grave of british governor who died during uprising when they couldn't leave fort
- marble inlay factory and our piece
Train to Varanasi
- traffic jam on way to station, lots of police everywhere, police climbing into freight trucks pushing passengers over rather than stopping the truck?
- ate into our hour of leeway by half, luckily train was 20 mins late
- fellow passenger lost her shoe down onto tracks
- crammed passage ways
- dutch girls who also had tickets for our bunks, ended up in adjacent corridor bunks