The other main attraction in Agra is its Fort. I apologize in advance for the length of this blog but the fort is humongous, and there are still large parts off-limits to tourists.
The whole of North India has been experiencing higher temperatures than normal and Agra is no exception. Even though we got to the fort early it was getting hot and a bit humid. We all took our water bottles with us. It's actually standard practice when you leave your hotel. Fill the water bottle and bring it with you. Also a hat if you tend to sunburn.
So here is the entrance to the fort for tourists.
These days a monkey keeps guard.
The moat in the other direction.
Once we had paid our tickets ( watch your change) we headed up to the next gate.
This fort was meant to be defended either by boiling oil or presumably excrement.
Through the next gate. One of the main principles of defense was making your enemy twist and turn as well as breach many gates and defenses. Elephants used to be used as battering rams and the twists and turns would ensure that the elephant could not build up speed.
Next came a long lane with slots down the sides.
I was intrigued by the hole which looked quite out of place.
One of the slots. I imagine wooden beams could be fitted. Filling in between them with stones or debris would make a strong barrier.
Finally we were into a large courtyard.
The common squirrels here. They are quite small compared to squirrels at home.
I suspect this shed with the large hole in the side is a later addition.
This describes the following photo. The area was inaccessible.
I walked back to the large building overlooking the large courtyard.
I can't remember what the large bowl was used for. Somehow I doubt it was for chai.
It was now getting hot and it was good to get out of the sun and take photos of ceilings.
Women would have been hidden by these screens but still be able to see what was going on.
A drain in the marble floor.
Clever bucket decoration.
The Taj about two miles away through the haze.
Some sort of bath possibly. There is little information and I have sworn off Indian guides.
A breeze from the river was the attraction here.
It would be nice to know what this was.
You had to take your picture of the door through glass.
We were now into another courtyard.
This building was impressive inside. All marble of course.
The sacred areas were blocked off.
It's an intriguing pattern.
Possibly one of the most impressive parts of the whole fort. The workmanship must have been incredible.
The railway between the fort and the river.
Yet another large courtyard. It was now getting quite hot.
This throne platform is enormous. Read below.
This Indian woman was having her noon-time nap. It looked like a very good idea but somehow I suspect they would have objected if I tried anything like it. I was just happy to get out of sun and plod on.
The side of this building was curiously out of character.
On to yet another huge courtyard.
A very large colonnaded area where the common people could see their ruler.
Platform for the ruler's throne.
An oddity. An Englishman's grave. Read the inscription below and more about the man here.
To be honest I prefer my cannon in Maryborough.
I never expected to find a step-well here.
There was a protective grate on top and presume the steps must have followed the outside of the well.
To be honest I was now quite tired and happy to go out the gate to find a shaded spot to sit down.
As Bruce, Jennifer and I were sitting beside the path out of the fort, an older woman was carted out on a stretcher. Both Bruce and Jennifer are doctors and declared immediately 'broken hip'.
So it was interesting place to visit but a simple visitors map would have been wonderful.
By this stage of the trip I had now had enough of huge forts. They are overwhelming to the senses and it is so easy to wander past incredible detail and significance.