Trip to Agra Class 5
7th - 8th September, 2018
Class fives got the biggest surprise when we were told that our trip to Agra, which got cancelled last year, was finally happening now. Better late than never! We left from school on the morning of 7th September in super comfortable air conditioned buses with packed breakfast. We were all excited! In Agra, we were staying at Hotel Clarks Shiraz.
On the way to the hotel, we stopped at Itmad- Ud- Daulah, a famous tomb built by Noor Jahan for her parents. Itmad- Ud- Daulah is a beautiful white marble tomb which is believed to have inspired Shah Jahan while he was planning the Taj Mahal. It is known as the 'Baby Taj'.
Walking around the tomb was an enriching experience but viewing the Yamuna, we felt sad to see it polluted with garbage. The small industries around it have all shut down and shifted to far off areas so as to save the Taj from the fumes they emitted but the river is yet dirty.
After settling down in our rooms at the hotel and eating a sumptuous lunch, we set off for the Agra Fort. It was built by Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1565 and Shah Jahan, his grandson, added the palaces of white marble within the fort. The whole fort was a whopping 2 MILES long! We then went to the next place in line, Mehtab Bagh. Mehtab Bagh is where the myth of the black Taj comes from as it is believed that Shah Jahan was about to build a black Taj Mahal, but, before it's foundation was completed, Aurangzeb put him under house- arrest in the Agra Fort.
After a tiring day, we ate a yummy dinner and went to bed.
After a good night's sleep, we had an early start. We couldn't wait to see the gorgeous Taj Mahal- a mausoleum built by Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World!
When we entered from the main gate, it magically seemed that the Taj could fit within the gateway, but, when we got closer it looked so gigantic! The actual tombs are in the basement but their replicas are still visible to the public. The bigger tomb is Shah Jahan's and the smaller is for Mumtaz Mahal. The long finial on the onion shaped dome with the moon on top is over 10 ft long! The monument is an amazing blend of Indo-Islamic architecture. Built with white marble and symmetrical patterns inlayed with precious stones and gems in it's walls is simply a marvel.
The Taj, over the years has been impacted by various human activities. These have led to it's discoloration. Cleaning it and maintaining its originality is one of the main projects of ASI. We saw some people from here carrying out maintenance work on the monument. Later we had a very interesting question answer session with the teachers. I learnt how to identify different architectural styles. It is said that Shah Jahan cut off the thumbs and and blinded all labour associated so nothing like the Taj could ever be built again.However, people say this is a myth as historians say that the workers were paid so well that they would have led a life of leisure, for the rest of their lives. We all need to put in effort to protect and conserve our precious monuments.
Soon after lunch we left for Delhi. The trip was over too soon!
Nylah Dhawan V - B