I arrived in Agra, home of the Taj Mahal, yesterday. I came here by a bus (5 hours) and I was the only non-Indian on it. I got a few funny looks, especially when putting sunblock on.

I visited Agra Fort in the afternoon and spent a few hours just walking around it, the perimeter is about 2.5km. I'll put some pictures up soon.

Yesterday evening I spent my time on the rooftop restaurant of my hotel. The Taj Mahal is about 100m away and is beautiful around sunset and then more so by moonlight. I'm going in to the Taj gardens tomorrow morning for the sunrise view and then in to the Taj for a look around.

Tomorrow night I'll be on the overnight train (12 hours) to Varanasi, a sacred Hindu city on the banks on the river Ganges. There's supposedly quite a lot of hassle with touts and commission seeking rickshaw drivers so I don't expect I'll stay long.

After Varanasi I am heading to the Buddhist village of Bodh Gaya. This is the place where Siddhārtha Gautama sat under the Bodhi tree and achieved enlightenment and become the first Buddha. A descendant of the original tree exists in the same place as the original so I will go and sit underneath to see if anything happens.

From Bodh Gaya I will go to West Bengal, maybe stopping at a few places and then on to Darjeeling. Darjeeling is in the hills and should be a lot cooler and much more pleasant than these lower tourist hubs. The hills are green, covered in tea plantations and there are views of the Himalayan mountains too. I will stay there for a while I think.

The current plan has me going From Darjeeling to Nepal, traveling westward, duck out of the South into India to avoid the Moaist rebels and then towards the North West of India to Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj (the Dalai Lama lives nearby) before back to Delhi and then home.