We were able to sift through the many layers of travel services and procured a bus reservation from New Delhi to Agra. We waited on the road outside a restaurant from 6:30 to 7:30 just to be sure we did not miss it. There were only five seats available when we boarded, all in the back. We were the only non-residents of Delhi.
Although there are many interesting sights of Agra, there is a strong focus on the Taj Mahal. It can’t be helped. Our hotel had a view from its rooftop, the Agra fort looks over it. There is a complex that is older, but it is called baby Taj because the buildings are smaller. As it provided some inspiration to the designers of the Taj, mother Taj would be more accurate. There is a garden across the river. It is visited only because it provides a backdrop of the reverse side of the Taj Mahal.
We visited during the Holi festival which features water and lots of color paint thrown at everyone. We enjoyed with the locals but left our cameras at home. We tried to balance our visit to the Taj Mahal with traditional views and something unique. As it is one of the most photographed edifices in the world, finding a new focus or perspective is hard.
I found the view from our hotel rooftop intriguing with a statue of Buddha on the building down the street amidst the towers that provide wireless telephone service.