South India 4 : By the seaside, beside the sea

It’s not going anywhere.

Breakfast is a cold affair. What was once hot is no longer and probably cooled off in the time it took us to walk from our rooms!.

Mahabalipuram will be the focus of the day. A very pleasant seaside town with several interesting and noteworthy places of interest that, in fairly typical fashion, the authorities have chosen to hide behind unsightly metal fences, like zoo animals trapped in their enclosures.

Furthermore, said authorities have doubled the entrance fees for foreigners from 250 rupees to 500. Or from £3 to £6 in our money. Entrance fees for Indians have risen from 10 rupees to 30 so whilst their rise is greater in percentage terms, one can’t quite escape the feeling that foreigners are being used as cash cows. I don’t mind and I understand this belief that we are better off than the vast majority of the population but occasionally it can get a little tiresome.

Mahabalipuram was a capital of the Pallava empire and it was during the reign of King Narasimhavarman 1st that the majority of what we see was created. His nickname ‘Mamalla’ gave the town its name and Mamallapuram and Mahabalipuram are interchangeable as the names used for this lovely place.

Krishna’s butterball sits upon a slope. How it balances is anyones guess and it is common to take a picture of oneself pushing the rock. Perhaps it will move one day and the scene will be ruined as it crashes down the incline and squashes unwary picnickers below.

We move on to Arjunas Penance. This extraordinary carved relief is the crown jewel of Mahabalipuram art. Oddly enough it sits beside a busy road with nothing to protect it and you have to avoid being hit as you cross the road to view it.

That’s a relief!.
What a carve up!.

The image depicts Naja (Cobra’s) descending a water filled cleft (The Holy Ganges) whilst Arjuna (Our Hero) fasts, whilst standing on one leg, in the hope that the four armed Shiva (Who has difficulty buying a shirt that fits!) will grant him his most powerful weapon, the god slaying Pasupata.

It’s a wonder to behold but part of me wishes it was better protected from the abundant fumes and pollution of the busy road as well as the constant fear that erratic driving will deposit a vehicle straight into it, smashing it to pieces.

Small but perfectly formed.

The Five Rathas were each carved from a single block of stone. Each was once dedicated to a Hindu god but are now dedicated to the Pandavas, the five hero brothers of the famous tale, ‘The Mahabharata’ or their common wife Draupadi. Once hidden beneath layers of sand it was the British who excavated them.

Want to know more?

Okay then.

The Rathas are in the following order from the left as you enter their compound. Durga- standing on a lotus- huge sculpted lion. Shiva- huge Nandi bull. Vishnu- never completed. Ardhanarishvara – androgynous- half Shiva, half Parvati. Indra- huge stone elephant.

Lion in wait.

We move on again to the Shore Temple.

This temple, which represents the pinnacle of Pallava architecture, were constructed to reflect the maritime ambitions of the Pallava kings. It dates from the 8th century and the fine carvings, now eroded by sand and time, still give strong hints as to how the temple would have looked when it was new.

Are you shore?. Yes I’m certain.

It’s a delightful setting albeit one that is tempered by the fact that when the Tsunami hit, the height of the wave was above the top of the temple. That’s a scary thought and just shows how vulnerable the temple and town are in the event such a thing happens again.

The temple itself is built above a shrine to Shiva whilst Vishnu lies sleeping in his own shrine which is set between the two towers. Neat rows of Nandi bulls decorate the walls.

Small but beautiful.
That’s a lot of bull!.

We drive on.

Vistas of green rice fields stretch away on both sides of the road. Occasionally we pass by a salt plain or the intriguingly titled ‘Hybrid Scampi Hatchery’ which sets my mind racing. I adore scampi but never knew there was a hybrid version. Mind well and truly boggled!.

We arrive in the deliciously named ‘Pondicherry’ and then head to Kumbakonam, city of 18 temples and then, beyond that, to Darasuram and it’s main attraction, the Airavatesvara temple, a beautiful example of 12th century Chola architecture.


It’s main hall is carved with elephants and horse drawn chariots and each of its 108 columns has been carved so as to be completely unique. It is one of the three great ‘living’ temples alongside Bridhesvara (Various spellings) in Tanjore and Gangaikonda Cholapuram.


The temple is dedicated to Shiva and it was here that he was worshipped by Airavata, the white elephant of Indra. The elephant, suffering from a curse, was miraculously restored to its true colours by bathing in the waters here.

All dressed up!.

It’s a beautiful place to be. A balmy evening, a relatively quiet temple and time in which to just stroll and take in the many fine details. You notice original paint upon its walls that hints at former glories and statues in niches, draped in gold and purple that stands out vividly against the stone.


Our hotel is optimistically known as the ‘Paradise Resort’. We arrive in darkness and it’s only distinguishing feature is that it’s not very distinguished. Our rooms are set somewhere out in the grounds and it’s merely a place to rest a weary head.

Night night.

South India 3 : We need more temples!

One big pool!

The Radisson Blue Temple Bay has clearly been designed to ensure that walking from your room to breakfast builds up an appetite.

For those more elderly or infirm, a bus carries them to and fro but alas we fall into neither category (Yet!) and so we must hike our way down to the main entrance and then the restaurant.

The hotel is renowned for its vast pool that stretches almost the entire length of the complex and is reputed to be one of the longest pools in Asia. It is certainly a glorious sight to behold amongst the white blocks that stand alongside it and the greenery that casts shadows over the still waters.

Breakfast over, we head to Kanchipuram and the Ekambarashwara Temple. Kanchipuram is famous for its abundance of temples and its silk and was the capital of the Pallava empire during the 6th to 8th centuries.

Temple number one!

The interior is cool and shadowy and it’s a very pleasant experience just to wander the halls in the slightly lower temperature that exists outside. There are garish models of gods and various mythical creatures that are paraded on holy days and at festivals and it was here that the goddess Kamakshi, an incarnation of Parvati, worshipped Shiva under a mango tree- as you do.

There’s a very colourful Nandi bull. Usually these sacred creatures are carved in stone and left plain and relatively unadorned but whoever made this clearly didn’t get the message.

Feeling Nandi?

The bull does have rather a surprised look on his face, probably due to his paint job, but he’s a cheerful looking creature and I have a certain affection for them, as you will see.


We continue on to our next stop, the Sri Kailasanatha Temple which is a low sandstone temple set in a small park. Despite being younger than Ekambarashwara it has clearly suffered more deterioration over time and parts of the temple are very heavily restored. The Brahmin priest who maintains the site tells us that they receive no government funding and the temple only exists because of the generosity of its patrons and tourists who now feel obliged to cough up a few quid!. Not that I mind because I like the temple and long may it stand.

Temple number two!
Modern reconstruction

The sun is just beginning to set. There’s enough time to visit a silk factory for the obligatory viewing but the evening begins to darken quite quickly and soon enough we are saying our farewells to Kanchipuram and heading back towards Mahabalipuram, passing yet more temples as we drive through the city streets.

Once more we see our hotel in the dark and once more we hike our way back to our room, thoughts of food and walking miles just to get any are soon brushed aside in favour of Pringles and wine gums.

It’s been a good day and thoroughly interesting and enjoyable but now it’s time to sleep and then, soon enough, there will be other wonders to explore.

South India 2 : In the beginning

Flower power!

Chennai is not a memorable city. Once known as Madras the change of name has not had any knock on effect where curry is concerned. I have yet to hear anyone order a ‘chicken Chennai’ rather than a madras.

The Chennai we encountered was more of a building site than anything else. Streets lined with bulldozers and diggers and huge wooden barriers, behind which very few men toiled in the heat. It’s not a lovely city by any means and what history it possesses is secreted away, almost as if the city is embarrassed by its colonial past.

There is a fort but not the kind of fort you might imagine from the one you played with as a child or you’ve seen in the movies. Rather this is a group of uneven buildings that you can amble into from off the street and which contain, within their gloomy interiors, displays of weapons and armour which you can only peer at through grime encrusted glass.

Al fresco travel!.

It has a museum within which are housed the Chola bronzes. These bronzes, impressive in their design and execution, date from anywhere between 850 and 1250 CE and are typical of South Indian design. Usually they represent Shiva or one of the most prominent gods of the region but their display, in a rather dingy room, hardly enhances their beauty.

Losing my religion

The cathedral and basilica of St Thomas sits close to the beach and is allegedly the burial place of St Thomas or ‘Doubting’ Thomas as he is sometimes referred to. It’s a lovely building and it’s stained glass is beautiful as most stained glass tends to be. The interior is light and airy and although it’s a Sunday, we are not interfering in any services and have the place to ourselves.

There’s a welcome respite from the oppressive warmth outside. It’s humid out there and people welcome the opportunity to simply sit in the cool quiet and chill whilst others, like myself, tend to wander to and fro, examining the statues and windows and contemplating life. As you do.

I’m pretty sure that’s not Thomas?.

The spot where Thomas landed on Indian soil is marked on the beach by a mighty pole. I’m sure it’s a very nice pole (if you like that sort of thing) but the fact it’s set by a run down hovel does rather detract from it and you kind of wish Thomas had chosen a better spot to land on. I doubt he thought about that though.

We go for a walk, neatly side stepping the puddles of urine and near piles of turds that decorate the pavement. I have walked in nicer places but this is seeing (and smelling) the real India.

I am alarmed to see a giant sign with the word ‘cock’ emblazoned upon it. Closer inspection reveals that ‘Cock’ is India’s premier firework brand!. I assume that when one is fired into the air it is a quite literal ‘cock up’.

There is also a ‘Pizza Hunt’. Perhaps they hide the pizza you order and you have to hunt for it?.

Dakshinachitra is our next stop. An open air museum full of craftsmen and women plying their trades and selling their wares. There is an introductory video to watch and we are herded into a cowshed and invited to take seats that have seen better days. Like yesterday. The video starts, then stops abruptly, then gives us sound only with no pictures and then the whole thing short circuits and won’t come on at all!. The projectionist just shrugs and walks out leaving us looking at one another with bemused expressions on our faces.

The museum is perfectly fine and interesting but photographs are not permitted unless you have a permit. And we don’t have a permit although I can see no evidence that anyone is actually checking and so, what the heck, I take a couple of snaps and move on.

An open air museum. If you like that kind of thing.

Our arrival at our hotel is somewhat later than anticipated and so we only see it in darkness. Our room is about ten miles away from the main building and you first have to navigate gloomy lit hallways before you are abandoned with a tiny and unhelpful map and given a vague ‘It’s over there and you can’t miss it’ instruction.

The noise is tremendous as birds and insects compete in a cacophony of noise to serenade us to our room. Perhaps they’ve spotted a krait slipping smoothly through the grass or perhaps they’re just a bunch of noisy critters who come out at dark to shriek and chitter in the balmy night air.

Eventually we find our room in the farthest corner of the complex and wearily climb the steps to the entrance. A pause, a last look around and then we shut the door and retreat for the night.

And then it’s tomorrow.

South India 1 : Flying

Not our plane!

I sat sipping at a coffee. Outside on the vast expanse of tarmac planes came and went with the droning sound of their engines as they accelerated and braked, faintly making its way through the large windows.

It was a bright late October day, still and warm. Soon we would be somewhere warmer and where stillness was rarely to be found. India was our destination; the glorious south beckoning to us and with one final sip of coffee we shouldered our hand luggage and wandered down to the gate.

As flights go ours was memorable for the wrong reasons. The crew were sullen, seeming to resent the fact we were on board. Requests for another drink went unanswered and yet when a fellow Indian raised his hand they were there in an instant, fawning over them.

We reached Mumbai in 8 hours. 8 hours of scant service in a plane that had seen better days and it was almost a relief to disembark.

I say almost.

Mumbai airport, for those who have not had the dubious pleasure of a visit, is huge, beige and filled with unhelpful staff. You wander corridors blindly looking for baggage reclaim and the bureaucracy is endless. It takes 40 minutes to collect our bags, then we have to go through customs and enter India before handing our cases to a bored looking booking clerk and then we have to go through immigration to enter India proper. And it’s here our problems continue.

The immigration clerk is in an obstinate mood. I am admittedly cranky and thirsty. We butt heads. I am touring South India and have failed to supply the addresses and telephone numbers of the ten hotels we are staying in. The clerk is agitated and mutters under her breath. He demands to know where we are staying. I give him the name of our first hotel and he glares at me as he crashes his fingers upon a rickety keyboard and enters the details.

Finally he lets us through and then encounter yet another layer of frosty faced security. A bag is taken to one side and rigorously searched. A hand is raised in which a small pair of craft scissors are held. The guard looks triumphant as he announces he will confiscate them as well as the nail scissors we have.

Our argument that our bags were checked and cleared at Heathrow, scissors included, falls on deaf ears and with something akin to a snarl he sets us on our way. Heaven forbid we have the sudden urge to start clipping our nails mid flight.

Yes it’s late!

Mumbai is notorious for delays. I am not holding the airport responsible but clearly there are some issues. Jet airways tweets regularly about the delays to its flights with something akin to pride and today is no exception. Our flight is on time, then delayed, then estimated, then your guess is as good as mine and we stand about at the gate…which only provides about thirty seats, hoping that someone in authority knows something. They don’t or if they do then they aren’t telling us and so it is we just wait, hot, thirsty, cranky and bewildered.

Booking seats. Yes I do book seats so I have extra leg room and it would work perfectly if the plane I booked seats on was the same seat configuration as the one we find ourselves on. Of course it’s not which explains why I spend 80 cramped minutes with my knees tucked under my chin as I now find myself the proud owner of the seat with possibly the smallest leg room and having to perform like some kind of agitated contortionist to extricate myself from my seat. It is not a pretty sight.

It’s getting dark and we are late. Chennai airport is unmemorable, at least in comparison with Mumbai and finally we breath the warm and scented air of India.

It’s Diwali and the streets are filled with people and noise and the first fireworks mark our passage with colourful bursts. Our hotel is decent enough and we are relieved to make it to our room, footsore and weary.

Night falls and the sky is coloured from east to west with bright sparks that crash and boom outside our windows. We lack the energy to eat dinner and so we fall back on the Pringles that we have secreted in our luggage. Throwing back the curtains we pull up chairs and allow the Festival of Lights to entertain us.

Tomorrow we start in earnest but for tonight let us leave behind thoughts of surly crews and officious officials and allow the magic of India to do its thing. We are here and it’s a start.

Well you’re getting one anyway!.

I don’t really know why I’m writing this. I mean, it’s not as though I get much encouragement to bare my soul and let you good people have an insight into my life and there’s not exactly an outpouring of enthusiasm and support and demands for more, but perhaps that is the bloggers life, in the main, to go through unheralded and unrewarded for their efforts.

It’s not about accolades but interaction. Yes it’s great to have someone say that they enjoy your writing but it’s more than that. It’s knowing people have read your words and you have, at the very least, interacted with fellow humans …or even bots.

It’s all about audience. It’s all about numbers and participation. I’m not here to make money or a career out of this, though it would be glorious if I could, but it’s knowing if I’m writing the right stuff or am I dull and boring. Do people want more reflective pieces, more poetry or more travel?. I don’t know and so I just plunge on writing stuff that generates little emotional response from those who read it. I’d rather know that what I wrote was crap than get a long drawn out silence.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say, short and sweet.

Have a good day folks and perhaps, I’ll see you down the road.


I’m going to start this blog by saying that I do acknowledge the adjustments that work have made for me and I am grateful for them.

However,there are wider issues at stake and whilst those adjustments are welcome, I believe that work has a fundamental lack of insight into Autism and ADHD and that lack of insight means that they do not give sufficient thought to how changes will affect me and how best to support me through those changes.

What I want is not, I believe, out of reach. I am not asking for the moon but for certain admissions as to mistakes made previously and an understanding of how we can move things forward. That is why I want this OH report and not for any other reason.

So what I would like is :-

1. Advance notice of any changes that will affect me. Those are changes to work procedures that affect how I work, my working conditions or the nature of the work itself. Managers should ask themselves how the changes affect me, not how I can be fitted into the changes.

2. To be trained first. I wanted to see the new systems first but was not able to achieve that. Instead I was the last to see them and the timing left a great deal to be desired.

3. An understanding of Autism and ADHD. Whether this is through training from an outside agency or some other method is really down to time and expense. I have provided links to websites and have been assured that those links have been read but I think they need to hear from someone with personal knowledge of how Autism affects my life.

4. Work to make me feel less of a burden. Because I have Fibromyalgia I find I sometimes have to work outside expected hours when I feel up to the task and so my logging in should not be so closely monitored so as to feel that I am under pressure and being watched. There is also the Autistic need to be in control that should be recognised.

I don’t want to be an inconvenience but rather be recognised as an asset. I want to work with them, not against them but the overwhelming stress in my life is caused by the actions of those at work. I’m not saying those actions are deliberate or targeted but rather inadvertent acts and omissions.

So that’s it really. I shall await OH with interest. Until then, I simply wait.

Be Happy!

Was it an order,

That made me rebel,

A command, a demand,

From a voice out of Hell,

‘Be Happy’ it said,

In a voice full of disdain,

Brooking no argument,

Insensitive to my pain,

‘It’s really quite easy,

There’s no excuse,

I say it quite plainly,

It’s never obtuse,

Be Happy, be happy,

You know you can be,

Don’t tell me you can’t,

Don’t you dare lie to me,

Don’t give me excuses,

Don’t blame it on life,

Don’t say that the others,

Bring you pain,

Cause you strife.

Don’t say that it’s circumstances,

Beyond your control,

Man up you big wimp,

And make it your goal!.

Be happy, be happy,

With a smile on your face,

If you say that you can’t,

You’re a total disgrace,

Pathetic and whining,

Feeble and weak,

You invent all these obstacles,

And excuses you seek,

You cower, you coward,

You snivelling cur,

You don’t deserve happiness,

In your gutter, down there!.

So see if I care,

And you’ll see I do not,

For a thing such as you,

I cannot care one jot,

Be happy? Be happy?,

Then don’t be, you fool,

And allow misery,

Over your life to rule!.’

But the voice didn’t get it,

Couldn’t see what I saw,

How I struggled each day,

How I fought more and more,

Because I want to be happy,

And for nice things to occur,

So a smile would be nice,

But it’s not getting there,

And if you don’t like it,

And think this is fake,

That it’s all about choices,

And the wrong ones I make,

Then I’m sorry to disappoint you,

Because I’d change if I could,

Oh I’d love to be happy,

Yes really I would,

But this is my life,

And this isn’t my choice,

But life overwhelms me,

And I still hear that voice,

‘Be happy, be happy’

I’ll hear it till I die,

And I will die trying,

Yes I’ll try, try and try,

So I’m sorry if your angry,

And think that I’m weak,

You go your own way,

And happiness I’ll still seek.

India 16 : Forgotten


Amidst the hype that surrounds the Taj it is easy to forget that Agra has other places worthy of mention.

The red fort, akin to that of Delhi, is an impressive structure whose plain exterior hides an interior in which elegance and beauty abound.


There is a glorious audience hall, open upon three sides to the elements and surrounded by neatly cut lawns.


The high seat from which the emperor gazed down upon his subjects is surrounded by exquisite reliefs and one is easily transported back to a time where all that surrounds you now would have been replaced by colour and life and people seeking a favour from their ruler who sat high above them.


There is so much to admire here. A great uniformity of design with each building precisely laid out and ample space for the visitor to find a small oasis of calm within which to stand and observe in the sultry afternoon sunshine.

But this is not just a fort but a prison and we should not forget that it was here that Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj, was imprisoned by his son and lived out his days with only a view of the Taj for company, unable to leave his prison and visit the place where his wife lay.


There is a deep haze today and as we gaze down river the Taj is merely a shadowy figure somewhere in the distance, almost hidden from prying eyes or ashamed to show itself to its creator.


But even prisons can be beautiful and here amidst the finely inlaid marble one can think of worse places in which to be held captive. Pavilions offer relief from the sun and there are fountains that, in days past, would have offered cooling water as a respite from the heat.


The fort is large and best taken at a slow pace. There is much to see and always one’s eye is distracted by another view or angle to photograph. The names of individual buildings and their purpose blurs and one almost feels guilty for not taking more in and gaining a better understanding of what one is seeing. However, as in all places, there will be time to read up later, when one can reflect on all that is seen.


But the fort is not the only attraction and as time ticks on we must hasten to a place unvisited by many and which like the fort, stands upon the river bank.


The hazy sunshine of late afternoon is an ideal time for places such as these. There are no crowds with which to wrestle and we have unobstructed views of this elegant little tomb whose decoration rivals the Taj itself.


Beneath us lies the river, somewhat less impressive than one might have hoped for, more brown than green or blue and one which flows sluggishly as though reluctant to display itself to watchful eyes.


Cattle wallow in the shallows and birds fly past, their destination unknown. It is here that our journey ends but theirs continues. It is here in Agra that we reach the end of our road for tomorrow we shall be like that bird, flying but towards a certain destination.

I do not want tomorrow. I do not want to leave this land of such variety, such unimaginable beauty, with so much left to discover. I want to feel the sun upon my face and a breeze at my back and see the riot of colour that India provides.

I want to explore great forts and palaces of marble. I want to walk in the hills amidst the grass and the trees. I want to see the smiling faces and admire the craftsmanship that exists in abundance and I want to find that space where I can sit and while India moves as she always must, I can stop the wheel of time and rest easy.

India deserves that. It deserves time.

Until we meet again.

India 15 : Love


There is so much written about the Taj Mahal that it seems almost pointless in trying to say anything more. Can I say anything more profoundly, more intimately than previous authors of great essays and learned books about the building and it’s construction, what it means and to whom?.

But the Taj is a personal thing. No matter how often I have seen it nor the time of day or season, it remains, to me, an incomparable beauty.

And it is hard to say exactly why. Yes, one can wax lyrical about its shape and form, the bountiful dome and elegant minarets and it’s setting within its gardens at the side of the river. One can delve into history and read the great tale of love and ultimate tragedy that surrounds it but, when all that is said and done, what do I get from being here, in this moment?.


My first thought is one of sorrow. The Taj looks old now, faintly decrepit now that it’s one gleaming white surface has been despoiled by decades of pollution. Now the Taj is almost grey and where once the inlay was perfect, now it is cracked and damaged though whether that be by environmental factors or human destruction, I cannot tell.

After sadness comes anger, a palpable frustration that the authorities have allowed this to happen. Now, years after the erosion began, they have made changes to make Agra more environmentally friendly but I fear it is too late and that brings out a resentment in me, that Agra does not deserve such a wonder if it cannot look after it properly.

The seething mass of humanity does not help. The gardens overflow with visitors, both native and foreign and the queue to enter the heart of the Taj is both daunting and depressing. There seems little care about what people touch and how they touch it, no respect for the building nor it’s history and entering the Taj itself is a soulless experience, a cacophony of screaming, shouting, pushing, jostling, groping individuals, uncaring about the experience of their fellow man. There is no order here but chaos and I am glad to be out again, where I can breathe.


So much disrespect. The Taj is a tomb and yet the noise above might awaken the dead.

There is harmony though when one finds a space to oneself and simply settles back and watches as the sun moves in the sky and the Taj takes on another shade. Darkness begins its slow invasion of the sky and distant shapes now become blurred and indistinct, their edges softened by the light.


My love for the Taj is undiminished but my fear for it’s future only grows. It is always a magical place but now one that has been sullied by thoughtlessness and disregard.

Look beyond the crowds, look beyond the grey skin that now stretches across the Taj and you will see once more the beauty. Peel back the curtain and see the Taj with fresh eyes; eyes that cut through the barriers and see it how it was intended to be seen, fresh, vibrant, sparkling in white and glorious inlays, a teardrop on the face of time, glorious monument to love.


One final glance back. One final reminder. One final view perhaps forever. Pray that it stands forever and pray that those with power over its future make the right decisions.

The Taj is a true wonder. Long may it stand.

India 14 : Abandoned


Once upon a time this was a thriving city albeit a short lived one. When the water ran out there was no option but abandonment and now the sound of townsfolk going about their business has been replaced by the sounds of tourists and their guides as they explore the ghost city of Fatehpur Sikri.

There are elegant buildings here, multilayered and reaching to the sky; squat buildings, more for administrative use occupy their own spaces and there are audience halls where once supplicants from far and wide came to pay homage to the emperor. Now it is we, the tourist, who pays homage to the ghosts of the past, walking where they once walked.


It is a mysterious place. The buildings appear almost to be random in their layout and it can be hard to determine the use of many of them. One though is well known for it is here the emperor sat and listened to the thoughts of those who attended upon him and where the great subjects of state were discussed. He sat above them in splendid isolation, there to contemplate their words.


There is little doubt as to the skill with which the city was constructed and all appears as solid and unmovable as the day it was built. Sad then that it could not have thrived for longer and such fine buildings could not have served greater purpose. But man must have water to survive and without it, no city can flourish.


It is a hot day. Thankfully the city provides no end of shade and buildings that are open to exploration. There is so much to admire here; balconies, fine lattice work, beautifully constructed ceilings, open squares about which the buildings of administration are arranged.

Despite its popularity it is still possible to find a space to yourself from which to observe the city. What at first appears compact is somewhat larger than expected and there are carefully trodden tourist routes which can be easily sidestepped in favour of a shadowy room which opens onto a less favoured vista.


But even as the population did so many years ago, we too must move on. Before us lies the road to Agra and a building that needs no introduction. Behind us lies the abandoned city and the ghosts who still dwell within it’s environs.

Tomorrow then, is another day.