One night in Agra was all we needed. Thanks to the weather, we managed to get all the pictures our hearts desired of the Taj, and we were now off on the final leg of our Indian odyssey, to New Delhi via a stop at the Red Fort.
Leaving the Radisson I had hoped to catch a final glimpse of the monument but it wasn’t meant to be. Anyway, there was still the hope that I would see it again from the Red Fort.
Lal Qila, as this fort is known was Emperor Shah Jahan’s home when his son Aurangzeb overthrew him and imprisoned him, until his death when he was then buried next to his wife Mumtaz Mahal in the Taj Mahal.
This is an impressive fort, similar to the fort at Fatehpur Sikri and built from the same red sandstone, giving it its name. The walls are incredibly high and it is probably one of the only forts I recall seeing on our trip that had a drawbridge and something resembling a moat. Boy, Aurangzeb really did mean business when he imprisoned his father in there!
We make our way up to the tower where Shah Jahan was imprisoned and because it is so smoggy, we barely make out the Taj Mahal in the distance, we can just about see its glorious silhouette. There is a piece of glass that the emperor used to use to magnify the image of the Taj, but the room in which he was imprisoned is not accessible to visitors so we have to be content with imagining what the image would have looked like from his eyes.
We have no hope of the smog clearing and so we decide to call it a day in Agra and make tracks to our tata indica, which is waiting to drive us to New Delhi, a looooooong journey that just didn’t seem to end! Almost 6 hours later, we checked in to the Hilton in Janakpuri. Don’t ask me why we chose to stay in Janakpuri, I was swayed by the name the Hilton!
We were meeting M’s university buddies later that night and I was quite excited to see some of the people that M got up to what I imagine, lots of uni mischief with. Now this club was in the ‘right’ area of New Delhi and boy do I have to go back and make sure we stay in this area – Janakpuri is so far out and so not the best place to stay in!
Dinner that night was my favourite Roomali Roti and Butter Chicken from Pindi, the restaurant in Pandara Road Market followed by an ice cold creamy kulfi from Krishna, and some sightseeing of Delhi by night – the houses of Parliament, the Courts and of course, Gate of India, all lit up. Wow. I loved Delhi already!