We came back from Taj Mahal around 9.30 and thought of having breakfast. There are many restaurants and cafes located in between small hotels here but it was still hard to choose. All places are quiet. We passed by this Taj Cafe that claims itself to have been recommended by Lonely Planet Book, but were not really impressed. They definitely think that by claiming it out loud that it was featured in Lonely Planet, it would attract more customers.. but we can see that it’s being overused here. In that street there are a number of restaurants displaying the same in their signboards too. On the other hands, I cannot remember our favorite Mughal Darbar restaurant in Srinagar displays something telling that they’re featured in Lonely Planet (despite they really are). Perhaps in Agra especially in this area, all restaurants look almost the same, old, small buildings and not attractive at all, so you have to verbally tell people that you’re special in order to stand out from the rest. And they dont need to know if you’re telling the truth or otherwise :P
This restaurant, also like many others, have upstair/rooftop area that you can have view of Taj Mahal from afar, although in this case of this restaurant, the view is not as pretty thanks to ruined buildings seen more clearer than the Taj itself.
They dont have much for breakfast, as the thumbs of rule, people only eat bread and butter everywhere in India. So we placed an order one set of simple breakfast: toast bread, scrambled egges, some cereals (which taste terrible, and its milk was even terrible).
We stayed there for a while nevertheless, wasting time, reading newspaper and watching people passing by the street. How we thought we had spent in Taj Mahal shorter than we should, only less than 3 hours and when we came back to our hotel area, it’s still early morning and breakfast time. We have a plan with Jabbar to bring us sightseeing the town and to Agra Fort, Baby Taj and other places after this. Although after seeing Taj Mahal, we feel as if we already completed the must-see in Agra and dont even need to see the rest.
From the views you can clearly tell that in this cramped area of Agra, only Taj Mahal building looks ultimately gorgeous and well kept and praised, but immediately outside the gate of Taj Mahal, the area remains as small, old, dusty, smelly, dirty, dull, boring, undeveloped crowded town. For a major tourist destination (I can tell many people come to India with the main reason to see Taj Mahal), it’s a little unbelievable to see this gap of difference between Taj Mahal and its “courtyard”. Although to see it at a brighter side, probably they want to preserve the originality of true Agra and there are people still living their own simple life despite staying nearby one of the wonders of the world.
A group of locals starting their morning.