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Old 28th August 2012, 11:45   #16
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Default Re: Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!

continuing the TL


Arch inside an arc inside and arc - alternatingly dark and light
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1496.jpg

TaJ on a platform - it is same from all the sides, with nothing to distinguish its back from front.
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1497.jpg

Closeup view of the main body of the Taj
Incidently I had just finished reading the books on Mughal dynasty by Alex Rutherford - and that was making this experience all the more surreal for me.
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1500.jpg

Did you notice the hooks on the dome? They were put there to cover Taj during one of the Indo-Pak wars where Pakistan had threated to blow it away. It was covered with black cloth to protect it.
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1504.jpg

Mosque on one side of Taj
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1510.jpg

Royal Gate and Garden - view from Taj. The royal gate has 22 small minarets, 11 on each side. Legend had it that each one of the minarets depict one year that it took to construct the Taj. 22 meaning - it took 22 years to complete building the Taj
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1514.jpg

Intricate stone inlay work on marble - all such work in Taj is stone inlay and nothing is painted
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1518.jpg

Intricate design carved out of a singel block of marble
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1519.jpg

Another view of the Royal gate from Taj.
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1523_1.jpg

to be contd...

Last edited by sach.sri : 28th August 2012 at 11:48.
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Old 28th August 2012, 14:56   #17
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Default Re: Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!

Continuing the TL

Last set of pics from the Taj

The mosque
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1528.jpg

Royal Gate with storm clouds overhead
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1529.jpg

While it was cloudy through out, sun came out for a short while

Taj in sunlight
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1538.jpg

Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1543.jpg

Warmer tone
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1545.jpg

Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1548.jpg

Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1560.jpg

Parting shot - same place from where we took our first shot of the Taj
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1571.jpg





We completed our Taj visit in around 2 hours and were back at the hotel around 11 am. We had already packed our stuff - tied up the loose ends and checked out. Were on the road by 12 pm.


On the way back we had decided to take the YAmuna Expressway to try out the newly opened road. It was a good experience, the road was dead straight i could use my cruise control effectively.
My father had already warned me of the speed cams that were installed on the expressway and so i was cautious and drove at 100 kmph barring a few bursts.

I should mention here that the speed cams were not into service that day - and there were a lot of cars overspeeding and passing us by even when my speedo showed 100 kmph.

It was 14th Aug - and the toll was to start from 16th Aug, so had a free ride instead of what would be a Rs. 320/- toll one way.

next post - some pics of the expressway to conclude this TL.

to be contd...
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Old 29th August 2012, 13:16   #18
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Default Re: Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!

continuing the TL

Entry to Yamuna expressway from Agra is on NH2 (Agra Kanpur highway). One needs to go around 15 odd kms on this highway to get onto the Yamuna expressway.

Like i have said in my last post - it is a great road and we had fun driving on it. The only issue was the lack of any eating joints on the whole stretch. The guy at one of the toll plazas said that Haldiram has taken up the contract of operating the eating joints and they will be operational by 16th Aug. However, on the road - one could not see any activity which gave any indication of opening preparations.

Anyways - we had some munchies in the car and we munched along.

It was monsoon time and along the drive we had patches with dark clouds, white clouds, rain showers, sun

Start of the Expressway - beautiful wide concrete road and clouds
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1575.jpg

White puffy clouds and electric blue skies - cant get enough. They were one constant feature of this trip. Every where we went - we saw amazing skies and clouds. Monsoon drives rock!
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1578_1.jpg

Black Tarmac and blue skies
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1580.jpg


Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1587.jpg

Black rain clouds - looks like rains!
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1588.jpg

Mathura exit
There were exits on the expressway other than Agra and Greater Noida. I had not expected any exit near Gurgaon - but could see a board for Palwal also. I guess, that is the option to be taken while going to Agra from Gurgaon

Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1591.jpg

Sun-n-shade
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1593.jpg

Toll Plaza - looks so neat now. Wonder how it will be in sometime - will it see the mad rush of traffic that we see on our other toll booths? I guess Jaypee definitely would like that
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1595.jpg

After a rain shower - spray of the tyres
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1600.jpg

Objects in rear view mirror
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1608.jpg

Beautiful skyline
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1619.jpg

Thanks - visit again
Monsoon drive photologue - Varanasi, Agra, Chunar & Churk!-img_1620.jpg


This concludes the TL. We had a lot of fun on the trip and now again reliving the trip with this TL.

Hope you have enjoyed it as much as we did making it.

So long........ till the next trip and TL
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