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The Taj Mahal

Agra, India

You can’t really visit India with out seeing the wonder that is ‘Taj mahal.’ From Jaipur I hopped on an over night bus to Agra, with help from Girish, of course… I managed to sleep a little…woke up and we’d arrived in the dark around 6am…with hope of catching the sunrise…after waking up some more from a sweet cupper, I boarded a rickshaw and off we went…I’ve got to say I was excited…I remember seeing the Taj ever since I was little in picturesm TV etc…but here I was on my way for real…!

For some reason they didn’t less us into the grounds before sunrise which was disappointing…around 7am a group of about 50 tourists including myself made our way to that classic gate way viewing point where you climb a few stairs full of expectation and there it was a magical building with faultless symmetry, white marble pillars reaching up into the sky and a presence unlike any man made building I’d ever seen, magic.

The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal emperor Sha Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal and apparently they used 100 elephants to transport the white marble stones! It’s, one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, style that combines elements from Islamic, Indian and Persian architectural styles.

While the white domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Building began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, and employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen.

I was amazed by how many additional buildings were in the grounds. On either side of that classic postcard photograph lies two identical red stoned buildings with wonderful arches and intricate design’s…it really was something special, I’ll never forget my visit to the Taj.

permalink written by  willrob on February 24, 2010 from Agra, India
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