Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Taj Banal

The Taj Mahal is indeed a once in a lifetime experience. Its a 5 and 1/2 hr busride from Dehli along a very bumpy road which is one of the most dangerous in the world. Its simply a zoo of people heading in their own directions. The final destination is an oasis of calm - and a very strange set of rules. I can understand that they screen all incoming tourists for lighters, matches, and mobile phones. Tripods are also forbidden. But they then sell you a 25 rupee licence to use the videocamera - and then restrict to filming from more that 500 metres away. A group of very aggressive women pounce on anyone who tries to take a video camera any nearer. "It will damage the building" they hissed. It's pointless arguing. Luckily I find a woman on my trip who has already been up close and will look after my HD camera until I return. Still cameras are no problem - and they can capture short videos too. The building is awesome - didn't realise it was so old. Take my advice - plan a trip to arrive there as the sun sets, stay overnight and head back to Delhi (another 5 1/2 hrs) after lunch. To do it in a day is crazy.
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