But I tried to spice them up a little. These are from our first day in Agra. We had just gotten off our train from New Delhi and wanted to see if we could catch a bonus sunset. Some quick research revealed that the park across the river from the Taj Mahal called Mehtab Bagh is nice for that. So we hailed a tuk tuk, got a way-too-high quote for the ride, and then had another tuk tuk driver come up to significantly undercut his price to a rate that was actually lower than we first expected. This was a phenomenon totally unique to Agra: tuk tuks bidding for clients. In every other area the informal rules seemed to be that a tuk tuk had a client until negotiations over price failed and the client walked away from the vehicle. At that point anyone could pounce and get that sale. In Agra drivers would constantly come up to try to screw one another out of a client by offering a lower price or, in one memorable example, undercutting a tuk tuk driver’s price AND trying to destroy our confidence in his knowledge of the city (“He doesn’t know where you’re going! I know. The rooftop right? He doesn’t know where that is!”)
It’s a worse system for tuk tuk’s in Agra, riders have all the power and the ride goes to the lowest bidder. I suppose that could help the sale go to who needs it the most, but it also drives the expected rate for a tuk tuk down.
Anyways we took the lower quoting tuk tuk driver, and then drove way farther than we expected to Mehtab Bagh. The bridges are way up river so even though it’s right across the water you have to go the long way around. I think the tuk tuk driver knew that once we saw the distance, we would pay more, because he seemed very unsurprised when we tipped (but still paid less than the first quote.) Anyways here are some pictures.
Here’s the full area with tourists:
Here’s an attempt to get an interesting angle with bonus birds in flight:
Here’s straight on with good light and one bonus bird:
Here’s Heather with some goats:
Here’s the Taj Mahal and some barbed wire:
Here’s a close up that hopefully makes you feel a bit how massive it is:
And here’s the whole thing with the matching gate houses:
After this we went to Varanasi, which was by a mile the strangest place I’ve ever been.