0Tuesday. 14th [November 1905]—Agra
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14 November 1905 — Agra
Tuesday. 14th [November 1905]. Corise wrote a letter to Lord Curzon telling him of our arrival & then we started off to drive to Fatehpur Sikri a long drive to see the town built by the Gt Akbar and deserted by him for Agra. It was a delightful drive along a road planted with fine trees– We passed 3 elephants drinking & one lying flat in the water, his attendant standing on his body was busy scrubbing him with a brush! We passed natives in all kinds of costumes & some with very little costumes. Green parrots flitting about in the sunshine, mynas hopping about the roads & tiny squirrels running from tree to tree– There was something new to see every moment & the long                mile drive was soon over. On reaching Fatehpur we went to the Dak bungalows to deposit our wraps of wh we had been glad in the early morning– We then visited Agra Fort—& all the Palaces which Akbar had inhabited with his various wives. We began by the mosque wh a melancholy high priest took us to first– He offered to be our guide as a special consideration but was evidently always hanging about the bungalow in hopes of getting hold of a rich traveller. The decorations of the mosque are very fine coloured tiles– From there we went on to the palaces some of wh are now being repaired by our Govt. Our guide spoke of “guvment” as if it was another Akbar! The views from this place over the plains are very fine– What most struck me was the platform over the moat looking towards the Taj where Shah Jehan died & from whence he could see the tomb of his beloved wife– The audience court of Akbar is also very striking– His seat high up above a platform where sat his ministers & councilors—& the great square open space below where stood the crowd who came to plead for justice. It is all very grand & worthy of such a man as Akbar. About 1 o’cl we were tired & hungry & returned to the Dak Bungalow to get our lunch. There was a lady at lunch who introduced herself to us as Lady Gazette who had 2 friends Genl & Mrs Mansfield with her & we talked & chatted. I communicated our names to Lady G. & she was very kind—said she knew the Bruce family at Abbottabad & invited us to call on her next time we came to Agra– After lunch we returned to see the rest of the palaces which we had not had time to visit before & then set off to drive back to Agra as we were anxious to see the Taj again by sunset. We just changed our carriages at Agra & drove off to the Taj. On arrival there we found the Viceroy escort waiting for him at the gate. He had come to take a farewell look at the place. As we walked up the garden we soon met His Ex. walking surrounded by a crowd of officers & civilians. He evidently did not recognise us & after one glance he turned his eyes to the ground so we did not venture to bow to him & hurried on– A little further we met Lady Curzon in a rickshaw with her children & nurses. Happily their visit at that moment engrossed the attention of all the guardians of the place & we were able to go round without being molested by any one. We saw the sun drop beyond the river & we walked back to the Entrance Tower & drove back to the hotel. On our arrival all the fountains were playing in honor of His Ex. & the plash of the waters added much to the whole effect. While we were at dinner a note from Lord Curzon came for Corise saying he had been out all day & Corise’s note had only just reached him. He regretted not seeing us as he was leaving early tomorrow morning.

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