One of the days during my stay in Agra I decided to visit Baby Taj or Itimad ud Daulah Tomb. – (I prefer Baby Taj)– As I have many days in the city I had the time for it.
This time I will not walk until there. I just found a tuk-tuk outside the Hostel and went. Any strange event occurred during this ride, or even on the way back. (weird) So, I’m talking about my visit to Baby Taj as I think it’s really an interesting spot to visit.
As I told before, Baby Taj or Itimad ud Daulah Tomb is a much more detailed masterpiece that Taj Mahal. But that’s not the reason. The building itself is small and the complex isn’t also big. You can perfectly see it in half an hour. But I stayed there for approximately 2h. Why? First of all, it’s location. Baby Taj is next to the Yamuna river and for me, that’s what makes it so interesting. One of my favorite activities while traveling in Asia was to stand close to rivers and just observe all the things that are happening. I realized during this trip that just staring at the borders of the river is one of my favorites must do’s. There’s so much happening close to rivers! I was able to see “activities” I have never seen before in my life. While getting closer to the river, I see a big colorful spot still far. I’m impressed! What could that be? An art installation there in the middle of the river?
When I visited in February the river was very low, so it had really big margins uncovered by the water. Apparently, that’s a major spot for laundry… When getting closer and closer I understand that the big colorful spot is a bunch of rugs together putting there up to dry. Yes, in India people do laundry in the river, take a bath in the river, wash the dishes in the river… But that sight was really wonderful.
I was already walking towards the door inside the walls that protect Itimad ud Daulah Tomb when I decide to stop to take some pictures with SpongeBob. Once the security spots me with the toy, they immediately approach to analyze it. Conclusion, they also didn’t like SpongeBob a lot, just like in Taj Mahal. But this time they told me to hide it inside my bag. I just couldn’t take any pictures with him.- Inside I needed to pay a tip to a guy that was just there next to the shoes. Let’s call him the shoe protector.-
As I said before, space isn’t very big, but I have all the time in the world, so I sit on the floor watching the river and everything that it’s going on. There is a lot going on. I saw two men filling their donkey with sand. They were coming and going several times. I saw some pigs walking freely. I saw the water buffalos having a blast. I saw Indian kids playing cricket. I saw Indian kids playing something else and asking for food. This is a Typical Indian child. I guess their parents just teach them that every time they see a “white” person they should beg for food. So, they were playing and as soon as they spot me from down the river they start asking food. Clearly, they aren’t starving or needing anything. I didn’t give them anything so they ignored me and continued playing. As I was sitting there for so long I saw this strategy in action several times as different tourists were approaching. During this trip, locals taught me that you shouldn’t give kids stuff, mostly during the school time. Why? Because if their parents see they are profitable they will not send them to school. I also noted that kids are like this mostly in India. In the other countries, I didn’t experience this behavior a lot. Maybe Cambodia is the country I could compare to India.
There are a lot of monkeys going across Itimad ud Daulah Tomb, so I was also watching them. They are cute, but I’m scared of them. I saw some eating the shoe covers, falling from the trees… So fun!
I really had a great time just watching Indian lifestyle, and the place is so calm and relaxing… You don’t listen any whistle from the traffic which is so good!
And that’s why I loved this place. I was there watching Indians as they are.