Why did I choose the Taj Mahal?
This year for my birthday I planned a solo trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. I wanted to be surrounded by love. I wanted it to be special. The last two years were emotional roller coasters and I had had enough. So I decided that starting from now I was going to be responsible for my own happiness.
Because my trip was hardly planned and I hadn't made any bookings, on the morning of my journey I took the metro to Noida bus depot, which is 50 mts from the metro station. I got an air-conditioned bus that left at 9:30am for Rs.510 a ticket. It reached Agra by 1pm on a hot and dusty afternoon. I took an auto to Zostel- a cool chain of hostels centrally located in almost every tourist city. I checked in and had lunch at a famous South Indian restaurant 'sagar ratna' just adjacent to the zostel gates.
Then I left to get my tickets for the full moon viewing of the Taj Mahal for 22nd Dec. But the tickets were sold out that morning. So I decided to return at 6am the next morning and get tickets for 23rd Dec night. Tickets are booked one day in advance and sold out within hours. Note: One should either be present themselves or book via a travel agent. Online booking wasn't available at the time I visited.
I decided to visit the Mehtab Bagh that afternoon. Mehtab Bagh is a large, beautifully spaced garden. As you enter you spot the Taj Mahal standing majestically across the small river. Immediately you notice the large white structure. But looking at it is an ethereal experience. It instantly calms you down. You start forgetting where you are and why you came as you keep looking at the beauty that is Taj.
Almost instantly I heard the click click click click click of the cameras. Avid photographers are quick at taking many pictures, one after the other, angle after angle. Then there are the famed instagrammers who immediately started posing, trying to give an interesting and magical appeal to their pictures. But with the Taj Mahal as their backdrop, there was little work to be done. Being December afternoon, though the mist had settled, there was something very dreamy about watching Taj Mahal from the distance that I was standing from. Soon I found myself a comfortable angular spot that gave me a very good view of the Taj. Sitting there almost for an hour and just taking in the Taj Mahal at leisure was calming and soothing. Just what I needed. Maybe this was why I came to Agra.