The Taj Mahal experience

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A strange incident happened with us last weekend at Agra.

Wiith Christmas giving us an extended weekend, we decided to visit Mathura and Agra. Agra was the last leg of our trip.

We took an autorickshaw to take us to Taj Mahal. It dropped us at a gate that we later learned was one of the busiest and would take us hours before we went inside the mausoleum. This piece of advice came from a man who offered to take us to the VIP gate, where there was less crowd. Might be a guide, we thought, and decided to hire him. He turned out to be a cycle-rickshawwallah.

At just Rs. 5  each (kaun kehta hai ki 5 me aaj kal kya milta hai), two rickshaws agreed to ferry us to the VIP gate. But there was a catch.

The rickshaw wallahs stopped near a small shop housing marble souvenirs of Taj Mahal. This was Meena Bazar and this was the catch. We had to go visit this shop, which will entitle the two men of the commission from the shop owder.

Had we not to catch our train back to Delhi, that too from Mathura, we would have loved to shop here. But not now.

But the rickshaw-wallahs were adamant…”don’t buy anything, just visit for a minute”.

We won’t. We were adamant too. They took their revenge by dropping us at South Gate. It took us more than an hour to enter Taj Mahal. There was a sea of people all over. On the benches where couples shoot with the Taj Mahal in the backdrop, there was a waiting line. We later saw in news channels that we were part of the 2 lakh people who were in Agra at that time to see the wonder of the world.

Also read about our Shimla and Kufri trip:

Kufri – Details of the trip follows finally

Kufri photos – will follow with a detailed account of the trip

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