Terry's Indian Blogs

Fig 4

Early in 2006 Anita Alberts got some contract work in Trivandrum teaching English as a foreign language. Terry decided to go with her for the experience and hoped to be able to help locals in some way with his mechanical expertise. He also decided to keep a blog of his experiences and these are published below

The fort at Agra is an essential place to visit to sense the romance and magic the Taj Mahal. It is situated across the river Yamuna on the opposite bank from the Taj Mahal; it houses several palaces and is still used by the army.

 

Fig 1Agra fort 

 

Fig 2The balcony in the Fort palace

 Gazing across the river Yamuna from the balcony above, at his own creation and perhaps the most beautiful building in the worlds was the final fate for the Emperor Shah Jehan,

Fig 3Misty view of the Taj across the River

He built this amazing building in honor of his wife who died giving birth to his 14th  child . Imprisoned by one of these children, he was left only to gaze at the Mausoleum he created  on the park grounds where he fell in love with his princess Mumtaz. Under house arrest in this Palace he spent the last years of his life untill he died in his daughters arms, after his son had cleared the way for his own accession to the throne.

My  visit to this wonder of the world was to me every thing I expected and more. The labours of 20,000 craftsmen from all over Asia over 22 years had produced something not paralleled any where in the world and really is a ‘must see before you die’ thing. The inlay of thousands of precious stones has to be seen to be believed.

 Fig 4Anita and myself at the Taj

 Fig 5Donkey brick transporter

 This makes for an interesting journey between the Fort and the Taj Mahal, especial the old British bridge over the river Yamuna

fig 6Agra street life 

  This British built bridge over the Yamuna river. It carries an interesting array of traffic from pedestrians, tuc-tucs ox., camel, and donkey carts, fully loaded bicycles  and is always choc-a-block

Fig 7Heavy Bridge traffic

 The sand banks in middle of this wide river are thriving with activity  a perfect grazing site for water buffalo

 Fig 8Water buffalo
 

 and a plantation for melon cultivation

 Fig 9 Melon cultivation on sand banks 

 fig 10Baby Taj

 Further along the river Yamuna is what is known as the Baby Taj or Itimad- ud- Daula and was the first Mughal structure totally built from marble. Much of style and craftsmanship of the Yamuna can be seen here especially the floral inlay of semi precious stones  . Below a local stone mason demonstrates the cutting of a piece of semi precious stone for replacing damaged stone as part of a   restoration program. , Much of the restoration work is financed by the boom in tourism.

 Fig 11

 Some of the restoration work at the Baby Taj

 Fig 12

Fig 13

This was a   part of an overall tour of northern India called the Golden triangle. The visit takes in two other cities roughly 220 KM apart. The road journey between these cities is an adventure in itself, especial the range of transport. A few examples below.

Fig 14Camel cart carrying logs 

 Fig 15Home made truck

Truck driven by a single cylinder pump engine

 fig 16 home made truck engine

The ‘Power Unit’ of the many trucks seen between Agra and Jaipur

Fig 17Field pump

Same engine pumping irrigation water for crops

 Fig 18Sand Waggon

 

 

 

Sadly, a common site on the roads around India
Looking forward to being back in England on the 19th of March

 

Terry 2-3-07