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Whirlwind Tour of Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan

A Visit to Agra by Phillip Cullen
After spending longer in Delhi than I had intended, Avnish and Ushi from the guest house recommended a driver to take me to Agra. Suresh the driver turned out to be an excellent companion over the next three days and smoothed the way through Agra to Jaipur. The town of Agra looks remarkably interesting from Agra fort, when you look back up-river it seems picture book like. Suresh has no love for Agra though and there is no time to explore.

The Agra Fort
The Agra fort is excellent---I cannot tear myself away and when I meet Suresh 90 minutes later, he is red-faced and puffy from sleeping in the sun in the car.

The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahall is fantastic, though a bit wedding cake and full of hassley guides. One thing that travel brochures and books don't show is the Taj Mahall situated on the river. When I walked to the back of the building the sight of the magnificent wide and unusually swift flowing river (given the monsoon had failed) was sublime. The river puts the building in context, a remarkable architectural site. Nice to see also that construction workers are the same the world over. Workmen cleaning the domes from dizzying scaffolding catcalled pretty girls and dropped small buckets of water on tourists.

Fatehpur Sikri
Beware the guides who tell you they are not guides but would like to accompany you to practice their English. Otherwise it is a fascinating place. It is possible here (there were no other tourists) to actually find some peace, given you can shake off the guides. Outside the compound is different---hawkers and vendors are the most single minded I have ever seen.

Written By : Phillip Cullen
A 52 year old Australian living in Sydney. A father of three girls, he has always been interested in Indian culture, but never had a chance to visit it. Grasping a three week break between jobs he decided to take up a solo trip to India, after a friend who has written several books on Indian cricket talked him to visit Delhi and Rajasthan.

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