Monday, February 13, 2012

The Beloved of Agra

Original text by Manggalani R. Ukisari, executive summary by Darmansjah
  As the name implies, Laal Qila meaning red castle or better known as the Agra Fort. Material made ​​of red earth typical Agra.

Feeling embraced the handsome actor from the theater in London during a visit to the house of Taj Mahal.

"The Journey Home, is never too long, your heart ...." arrived before the train started spinning the wheels planted on the rails. Leaving the hustle and bustle of Delhi which sometimes makes me smile because of fraud. Recently, an introduction to the station taxi driver reveals, "I do not know where you want to go down, though it was called Paharganj near New Delhi station."

The issue is trivial. There are two entrances to the station was coded NDLS. One of the Ajmere Gate to Bahvbhuti Marg and another through the State Entry Road Qutab Road. So what's the difference? I do not see the crucial difference, because of the two directions that are pedestrian pass to the gate station. Alike can be used as the starting point of the trip riding towards Agra Cantonment station b erkode Cantt. "The difference does not exist, only if you choose the Qutab Road a little further, so you must give me extra tips," explained the driver without straightforwardly. Enough already, just through Ajmere Gate.

Cuteness does not stop there. In the sequence leading to the entrance station where all passengers had to put luggage in the X-ray scanner, I was a lane with a Nihang or a Sikh Warrior. Although admiring looks charismatic using turban headgear and clothing department features a dark blue robe and a long silver beard, a spear in his right hand to my forehead wrinkled. How then can go to the car on time, when two Indian soldiers who guard interrogated him? Luckily an officer invited me go first, because it only holds a small backpack.

Pigeons flying soaring into the sky, when the Shatabdi Express which I was riding left the NDLS. recalled memories of the events of a song about five years ago, while watching the musical Bombay Dreams at the Apollo Victoria Theattre, London, in which the character played by Raza Jaffrey Akaash-again-The Journey Home to sing with feeling, marked the tears that melted through the jaw line sturdy. The viewer is so animates the work of Indian composer, AR Rahman, who collaborated with the London theater mogul, Sir Andrew Llloyd Webber, the originator of Phantom of the Opera, "Ther journey home, is never too long, your heart before the train arrived ...," so singing Raza Jaffrey. A coincidence, the actor's bloody Britain British fusion of mother and father from Agra, and today I leave for the birth of the father of the actor

I sat comfortably in executive compartment, seats can recline freely, accompanied by a breakfast package comes warm cow's milk poured into a bowl of cereal, and flanked by a handsome Sikh man wearing a neat suit and tie. There is absolutely no "nightmare" that are not often happen to pedestrians while exploring India The former times causing them to give up-because I do have reservations in advance. Indian railways computerized system even has an online monitoring; holder waiting list any categories can be "first class" status is confirmed. So even though the tickets which I pocketed directly confirmed status, observe the movement and status of ticket sales via the Internet is very attractive.

That's why sometimes I'm thrilled to find a few close friends from foreign countries, making up him mind not want to go back to the Land Hundustan. Even one of them reasoned, "In my opinion, India is the acronym of I Never Do It Again. I know, you certainly can cope with clutter when you are there, while for me, past experience is enough. No need to mention. "

What is called chaotic by my friend, that's the typical Indian face. Something described as chaotic beauty. As sung by Raza Jaffrey, the feeling of riding journey towards Agra is felt like coming home. Back to the repetition of the classical problem of small-scale fraud if not careful, to find untidiness, luxury and technological advances such as combined into one and gave birth to a child's typical symphony Indian subcontinent.

Like when I set foot in CANTT, Agra Cantonment station code. Frenzied atmosphere not only built by local passengers, who will travel long distances and time of departure is still a long time, so to spread the mat and spend the night in the courtyard of the station, but from the dark taxi drivers and auto rickshaw pullers. They were shouting to sell services, in a gentle speech to half force. I was surrounded by so many drivers, like a celebrity, so must shouted in Hindi.

"Bhaa! Hall hai kya? Different premises lineament upset that I show in front of hordes of taxi drivers in front of the Agra Cantonment station, the taxi driver who designated the official outlets instead I took the initiative to say hello first. he was, Natish, aged about 24 years, suddenly startled. Not because I was 'showing off' the habit of Hindi, but look the way I talk. In be some place around the Old and New Delhi, when called men as Bhaaiya which means older brother or older sister, they seem reluctant, as it seemed provincial. Bhaai preferred, as it seemed modern.

"The good news, Diidi. Hopefully you too, "she said politely as she opened the car door hatchback mini-white. As if not to be outdone familiar, he greeted me as a sister. His face reveals the sincerity of the things that I find while traveling seldom escorted taxi drivers around Delhi and Agra in times past.

Natish, the youngest of two brothers, lived in the hamlet not far from the monumental tomb of the Taj Mahal. "Different than the states or any other city in India, the economy is sustained solely Agra tourism," he said. He cited the Punjab as a rich and fertile territory, passed five rivers with the natural contours vary.

"While in Agra, is not as fertile land in other areas, say the Punjab as a comparison. Even so, local residents continue to develop and maintain business grow rice milk cows to be taken. This field of classical agricultural business. If you want to compete among young people, the answer is to become a taxi driver introduction of tourists to the Taj Mahal and its surroundings. Opportunities available to me the extent that,: he added. "So do not be upset if Diidi mobbed driver. Everyone here needs the money, while the tourists do not always come in large numbers every day. They tried hard, scrambling income to feed his family. "

Exposure Natish opened my eyes about the complexities of life at "home" Taj Mahal. In front of us, the city of Agra to uncover their faces. As said the taxi driver, the state of Uttar Pradesh, where Agra is, occupies an important position in the tourism map of India. Agra is included in the Golden Triangle that includes Delhi-Agra-Jaipur, the three main objectives walkers when visiting India. "The beauty of a destination sometimes does not run parallel to the livelihoods of local communities," added Natish.

Visually, the haze of pollution covering Agra, made ​​it difficult for the eye can see the sun in the morning sky. Moderate layout of his own town where tough was decided that deserve to be called the center of town, because of the urban residential distributed at some point, plus the presence of a bazaar or local markets. "The problems of everyday local residents are poor water quality, sanitation less attention, power outages, and air pollution from motor vehicles," said Natish while showing a giant water tank made ​​in England that still serves up probably. "It is ironic, 'home' Taj Mahal was not representative."
  Pietra dura became souvenirs of Agra. It takes art and high precision in workmanship
  Entrance to Agra Fort
  Home Taj Mahal which attract domestic and foreign tourists. Local ticket is worth 1/ 15 times cheaper than a ticket a stranger or pathkar

Whereas in the past Agra incised brilliant achievements; often chosen to be important so that the city is located across the region filled with monuments. After the conquest of Ibrahim Ghazanavi Afghasnistan around the year 1080, Agra used as the main axis of the intersection of North and central India. Then, during the reign of Sikandar Lodi, Sultan of Delhi, was chosen as its capital. Similarly, in the reign of the Muslim Mughal empire. Agra ranked at the top.

The proof can be seen in a variety of physical relics of Mughal fortification to fortification or palace complex expensive Taj lined up along the banks of River Yamuna, coupled with the ruins of the city of Lodi dynasty heritage. In fact, the word Natish, the culture of the old people said in their area, ad the story that when Shah Jaha, conceiver of the Taj Mahal built the city of Shahjahanabad, the site now known as Old Delhi, his heart remained moored in Agra. "If you want to see the importance of Agra as a city, look at the six stations. A sign of the transport sector which sustains the world of tourism is preferred. "



Entering the Taj Mahal complex, my heart was still shaking. Though no longer a first visit. Thursday including crowded moments, given the destination is closed every Friday for the purposes of worship. Enchantment of the figure of marble and filled with Arabic inscriptions carved flowers, leaves, and tendrils linking each of the red rocks, green, brown, and black, known as pietra dura made ​​themselves silent for a moment to interpret the title of the famous Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore. He called the Taj Mahal as "ears of tears on the face of eternity." Nickname was like a balm to the shock of the high levy will go to the Taj Mahal complex, that is not worth it to pay Rs 750 or about U.S. $ 17 to see the beauty of it.



After passing through the sea of ​​people who packed charbargh or four parks department simeteri typical of Mughal building and marble bench near the pond where the walkers pose for a moment-this style popularized by the late Princess Diana, although many heads of state and first lady take a photo at the same location before and after re-liver gasped as he entered the mausoleum of Arjumand Bann Begum, better known as Mumtaz and her husband, emperor Shah Jahan.

Kasmiri Gate

A visit to Agra Fort and Fathepur impression Sikri bring more fun than painful experience of witnessing the mausoleum of Empress Mumtaz short-Taz made ​​his final resting name; Taj expensive, and Shah Jahan, showered with the flash. Anguri Bagh or the garden of Wine, Jahangiri Mahal and Musamman Burj in Agra Fort complex, leading to a view of the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River. Feels like a game of magic, because at some point seen are small, but when your feet to the floor above, a beautiful building of white marble taken from the Makrana, Rajasthan state, it looks great and magnificent.

Fatehpur Sikri

Meanwhile Fatehpur Sikri is outside the perimeter of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Nicknamed the Ghost Town since abandoned by its inhabitants in the past. Initially, the Mughal emperor Akbar built a palace outside Agra because of his enthusiasm to the surface of the local Islamic Sheikh Salim Chishti named. Then the enemy's military forces disrupt the stability of the Punjab, so he moved the seat of government to Lahore which probably entered Pakistani territory. The wealth of ornament in the palace of Fatehpur Sikri and advocates building a swimming bath bleak Anub Talao shows the magnitude of the emperor's tolerance for various religious, including Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam.

Jama 'Mosque

When dusk approached, Natish reveal 'symptoms' like the majority of taxi drivers in India that I look for this. He asked for a moment the car is stopped at the craft store pietra dura. If successfully put me there, he would get a bonus in the form of commission from the owner of outlets.

India Gate

'Bhaai, I already trust you. This day trip so much fun, even you honestly give you tips to avoid scam in Agra. Now you actually become one of them, 'I complained' If you say how much the commission will be obtained and then I gave that money, how? '

Rashtrapati Bhavan

'Not so, Diidi. This is the mandate of the chairman of the taxi association which I joined. You do not need to buy. Just sit and listen, the place has air conditioning. If you want to do it, it means helping the sustainability of the opportunity I was working. Remember, my story was; not easily find work in Agra. "

Chandni Cowk


Finally, I relented. As well as overcome with curiosity; what will be presented the expert pietra dura was on me. Ajeev, so the name of the store in charge of marble inlay it invites the process of making beautiful carved marble contains a variety of semi-precious stones, a case turqouise, jade, ony, and amthyst azuli layer. He states, workers are descendants of the seventh art crafters makers Taj Mahal. Whether true or not, my attention is more focused on the skilled hands. Even if it turns out the action they are pretending, still appreciated his efforts deserve. Afterward, I was taken to a room full of objects containing ornate pietra dura, such as lamp shades, coasters, jewelry containers, tables and chairs to large-dimensional sculpture.

Sikandra

I can honestly say at Rajeev, that the objects are exhibited fairly neat and smooth the surface, appear to originate from a single stone, rather than patch alone.

Hawa Mahal

"Bhaai, you do not want to work in Delhi or Mumbai?" I asked on the way back to Agra Cantonment station. "Tum .. Angrezi bahot acha, ji. Your English is excellent. "

Fig. The atmosphere of a fast food shop at the railway station of Agra. Culture is not in line are not uncommon in India, sellers who are sensitive will remember who was there first, though they are not sequential order.

Natish heard the words of my laugh. "Nahin, Diidi. It is not, Sister. I do not want to leave Agra. For me, fifteen head of cattle owned by the parents plus my income is enough to feed our family. When I get married, should be more vigorously increase revenue, "he replied. "Working in the metropolitan city of Delhi and Mumbai sorts, for me as well as Bombay Dreams."

Moti Dungri Fort

I was stunned. Not because the word "Bombay dreams" that he mentioned the same as the title of theater I've ever seen it, but because jitunya Natish choose parable. Although not exactly the same as the background and life story of the driver of this taxi, Bombay Dreams tells the story of Akash efforts to alleviate poverty by hunting dreams to Bombay and lived in apparent happiness.

I was stunned. Not because the word "Bombay dreams" that he mentioned the same as the title of theater I've ever seen it, but because precisely Natish choose parable. Although not exactly the same as the background and life story of the driver of this taxi, Bombay Dreams tells the story of Akash efforts to alleviate poverty by hunting dreams to Bombay and lived in apparent happiness.

Less than an hour, the train Shatabdi Express ready to leave for New Delhi. "Thank you for Bhaaiya called me. Because at home there is only one older brother, so I was called so it might not. Currently I do not have sister, "said Natish as he shook my hand tightly. The sentence was touched, and I do not care if he was waging seduction bullshit or not. seemed to be reading my mind, he hastened to add, "And I say this, not because I want tips from Diidi,"

I smile. "All right, thank you for the pleasant streets in Agra today," greeted me. "Goodbye, Natish. Phir mileynge "

He waved his hands and feet I stepped through the gates of Agra Cantonment station. In my imagination, Natish life story reminds me of Akaash. On stage Vitoria Thetre Apollo, London, Raza Jafffrey, the actor's handsome black wavy hair was wearing only a white singlet and white long pants barefoot. Full of feeling, he sang the lyrics of the closing of The Journey Home, "Sometimes standing still can be the best move you ever make-.. Aaja sawaariya ...

Like a reflection of my introduction to the taxi driver's day. To survive, Natish choosing to remain "standing" there; works as a taxi driver in Agra, over looking sparkling metropolitan cities like Delhi or Mumbai. Because he loved the land of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, where it is located close to the family. Can feel her love, like a soft spoken Raza Jaffrey, "Aaja sawaariya," while kneeling and extending his arms out wide as if he were waiting for warm embrace of loved ones.

Agra & Moumen Mughal

Agra including the state of North Pradesh in India. Indonesian citizens require entry visas India, the petition in Jakarta (http://indiaembassyjakarta.com) or use the visa on arrival (VOA) in India Gandhi International Airport (IGI).
Time, Different GMT +51 / 2. Introductory language support tourism is English. Everyday dengna locals speak the national language of India (Hindi) plus the ancient languages ​​and regions, such as Sanskrit, Urdu, Tamil, Sindhi, Gujarati, Nepali, Kashmiri, Lakdahi, Konkani and Malayalam. Phone to India from Jakarta, hit KOed +17 dilanjutakn destination country. How to reach Agra, available low cost carrier aircraft service from Jakarta New Delhi. Use metero IGI Airport Express from the airport to New Delhi railway station (NDL), continuing trip to Agra by Shatabdi Express train (www.indianrail.gov.in). Agra tour by taxi, outlets are available at the exit station of Agra Cantonment (Cantt). Agra accommodation options; Sheela Inn; www.hotelsheelaagra.com, Sidhartha hotel; www.hotelsidharta.com; OberoiAmaravilas; www.oberoihotels.com

Fatehpur Sikri is located about 40 km from Agra, founded by Emperor Akbar of the Muslim Mughal empire. Listed as UNESCO world heritage site. New Delhi, the capital of Inida, and destinations vary. From the ruins of palace, city gates, until the ancient tombs of the rulers of the past. Taking a photo in favorite places are India Gate with pedestrian  Unknown Heroes monument and eternal flame. Shahjahanabad, now known as Old Delhi, the old town of Sha Jahan peninggalah. The most popular shopping area is Chandni Cowk, mean square Light of the Moon. Other relics, namely Lall Qila or Red Fort and Kasmiri Gate. Taj Mahal, historic buildings penginggalan Mughal empire Shah jahan built over 200 years and involves 20 000 artis from India and central Asia. It has been ordained as a world cultural heritage site, in 1933. Agra Fort one of the best fortification of the Mughal Empire. Established Emperor Akbar in 1565 used as a fortress prime then converted into the palace by his grandson, Emperor Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahan founder. Golden Triangle India as a tourism triangle of India that includes Delhi-Agra-Jaipur. Some destinations, including India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhavan, Jama 'Mosque and Chandni Cowk (Delhi), Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri (Agra), Hawa Mahal, Jantar Mantar, and Moti Dungri Fort (Jaipur).


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