A few more photos from Varanasi I meant to include in the previous post:
The communal bathroom, including 'shower' area, at our $7.50 a night Shivakashi Guesthouse! We had to fill the bucket with hot water in the hallway and then use a large measuring cup as our 'shower.' Rudimentary yes but the water was lovely and hot unlike so many other places we stayed at this trip.
While waiting for our tuk tuk taxi to pick us up to take to the airport in the street outside the maze of alleys where our guesthouse was, we watched the bike rider stop right in front of us and nonchalantly wander over to the side of the street and relieve himself - a common sight as I mentioned in Varanasi but one that still nonplussed me.
The early morning fog en route to the Varanasi airport did not augur well for the timely departure of our flight to Agra. True enough, our flight was delayed a number of hours but at least Steven was able to find an outlet at the airport for me to plug in the laptop so I could spend the time typing up notes for blog posts so the time was put to good use.
Construction of the awe inspiring building on the banks of the Yamuna River started in 1631 and took about 22 years to complete the entire premises and required an estimated 20,000 workers.
Lapis lazuli, cornelian, malachite, coral, mother-of-pearl, agate and emeralds were inlaid in floral and geometrical patterns in the marble itself.
A view of one of the mosques from inside the mausoleum.
After spending almost 2 hours wandering around the huge complex, we rested at the hotel for a bit and I washed out some unmentionables and hung them out on the balcony to dry even though the hotel manager cautioned me the monkeys might take them. I guess the monkeys didn't find my things appealing as everything was safe and sound when we returned later!
A massive one and a half mile long and 69 foot high wall surrounded the fort which was protected by a moat and another wall - quite the daunting barrier to anyone who hoped to access the treasures within, I'm sure you'd agree!
Tomb of John Russell Colvin, the Lieutenant Governor of the North West Provinces of India, who died at the fort in 1857.
More photos of the stunning Khas Mahal:
The Anguri Bagh or Grape Arbor showed the outlines of a geometric garden built around delicate water channels and chutes.
The Mina Masjid or Small Mosque was built entirely of white marble between 1631 and 1640 by Emperor Shah Jahan for his personal use.
This huge tank, built in 1610, was used for bathing. It measures 5 feet high, 8 feet in diameter and 25 feet in circumference.
The reddish light came from the ‘curtain’ covering the entrance to the door.
We hired a tuk tuk driver on the street in front of the hotel asking him only to take us to one specific store that was mentioned in a guide and was located by the Taj Mahal’s East Gate. The shop had lots of beautiful inlaid marble items, scarves, textiles, paintings on silk fabrics, the works. Shopping in
The entrance gate to Itmad-Ud-Daula's Tomb.
We were surprised that we were among the very few tourists at the gorgeous Baby Taj considering the throngs of tourists that earlier had been at both the Taj itself and Agra Fort.
I loved the still stellar shades of blue glazed tiles.
Mehtab Bagh is a huge garden complex located on the left bank of the Yamuna River in straight alignment opposite the Taj Mahal.