Taj Mahal and the Yamuna Expressway

The Yamuna expressway is a promising project- it is supposed to be as good as the one connecting Noida and Greater Noida, only a ‘little’ longer. But on last Saturday, I didn’t know that it was still under construction. Imagine yourself driving along it for the entire distance of 185km: you begin by driving along a decently built service road that runs beside the expressway (you cannot drive on it as entry to it is blocked), but after a while, you realize that the decency of the service lane was only for the first few kms- after that, all you find is a heavily muddy rock-strewn ‘road’. Still you go on and suddenly you find a way to take your bike on the expressway. There are stretches where the road is in mint condition (there was one such stretch where I managed to run 12km at a constant speed of 110kmph!) and there are others where you will actually have to find a path to drive even 100m further (the road is uneven at some places and does not even exist at many others- with mud, tar and gravel lying freely here and there).

The destination was Taj Mahal, Agra (the round distance was about 445km long) – again one of those places about which you do not want to boast in front of a big group. Still, I will remember this one, mainly because it was my first solo trip. Making solo trips is an unheard concept in India. Still, I wanted to find out about it for myself and truly speaking, it is not all that bad – you do not have to consult someone every now and then as to what to do, you can stop or turn your vehicle anywhere you want and you get a lot of quality time to spend with yourself as you are free of the constant chatter that is inevitable if you have company.

As for Taj Mahal, needless to say it is magnificent. It really surprised me that a thing of such breathtaking beauty could still stand in such splendor after so many years. And the tourists, who abounded the campus, couldn’t find anything better to do than to spend more time looking into a camera than appreciate the sight of the Taj! But then as Sardar put it, it might all be a matter of perspective- just as I found their attempts to enjoy their trip to the Taj by clicking numerous photos of themselves stupid, they might have called me, who drove 200 km just to spend an hour at Taj Mahal, a useless bum!

Solo trips are good.

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