Friday, February 16, 2018

Taj Mahal and Fort Madhogarh

We have met our Intrepid Travels tour group and they are lovely!  We are 8 Aussies, 2 Brits and us 2 Canucks, plus our Indian guide.  Everyone is friendly and outgoing and helpful.

We took the train from Delhi to Agra.

Of course, the jewel in Agra's crown is the Taj Mahal.  I have seen photos of the Taj Mahal all my life and nothing prepared me for its overwhelming beauty and grandeur.  What a magnificent monument dedicated to love!  I could have sat on a stone bench and stared at it all day long.

Heading out of Delhi, an extremely polluted city, on our way to Agra by train.

The Taj Mahal is massive!

Lovin' the Taj.

After exploring the Taj Mahal for a few hours, we headed to our hotel for the night.  Little did we know we'd be staying in a 17th century fort!  Fort Madhogarh was built in 1620 and was converted into a heritage hotel in 2000.  And the best part?  We had the entire place to ourselves!

Fort Madhogarh, our digs for the night.

Getting ready for lunch in the courtyard.

The 'Intrepid Travels' gang at lunch.

After lunch, we wandered down the hill into the village of Bassi.  Our tour leader told us that the villagers, both young and old, would want their photos taken.  How right she was!  And how much fun I had being with the locals for an hour or two.

 Selfies with the children!

 What a handsome young man.

 A happy group of children coming home from school.


The elders of Bassi.

On our village walkabout, we stopped at a workshop where women wove 'homespun' on ancient looms.  The noise from those looms was deafening!

We stopped in a village tea stall for a delicious cup of masala chai.

After our village walk, we returned to the fort for happy hour.

 While enjoying our drinks on the terrace, we watched the sun set over the village of Bassi.

 We dressed for dinner that night.  Women wore saris and men in turbans.

To keep warm after dinner, we sat around a fire.  It gets chilly in northern India at night!

Our bed.  Sleep tight!

 We woke up the next morning to watch the sun rise over the village of Bassi.

What a spot to eat our breakfast!

I loved our time at the Taj Mahal and Fort Madhogarh.  I especially enjoyed my interactions with the people in the village.  Such warmth, such friendliness, such smiles.

We head to the city of Jaipur next!

I can't believe we've been gone for ten weeks.  Ten down, six to go.

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