Home > India 2012 > One chapter ends, another begins

One chapter ends, another begins

Yesterday I woke up in Agra and went to the Taj Mahal with my TGC colleagues. It was early in the morning, and though it was already getting warm, there was a cool breeze that made all the difference.

When you go through the exquisite opening gate and get your first view of the Taj Mahal, it looks like every photo you’ve seen before, only with more people in it. That’s okay, since it’s an exquisite image and the people don’t really interfere. Walking towards the building, you see more and more beautiful details. The building is equally impressive on a micro as on a macro level. Here’s a view of calligraphy done in inlaid onyx on white marble.

Though it isn’t written down, there’s a story that the king who built the Taj for his wife’s tomb planned to build a second in black marble for himself. He got overthrown, though, by his youngest son who killed three older brothers. The guide suggested that the son was upset at his father having used half the treasury to build the first Taj; perhaps he thought the kingdom had other needs. The guide observed, though, that the young prince couldn’t have known how well the investment would pay off for the people a few centuries down the road.

And here it is, my official Taj Mahal Tourist photo.

By late morning, we had to pile in the bus for the long, slow, bumpy ride back to Delhi. At times it felt like getting beaten up while sitting on the seat! We endured, though, and by evening I was at the airport saying goodbye to my TGC colleagues and waiting for Pakis to arrive. Communication was a little thin because once he left the US, neither Pakis nor I had a functioning cell phone. Waiting in the arrivals hall, I ran through scenarious and tried to imagine how I would get information if there were a missed flight or lost luggage…

But Pakis appeared and we found our driver and went on to the hotel our tour company booked for us. So now I’m on to India 2012, Phase 2. I’ll keep blogging as time and internet access allow.

If this image looks a little fake, it’s because it’s a photo of a print. Swaminarayan Akshardham doesn’t allow cameras inside, but they are happy to take pictures and sell them to the tourists. Like good tourists, we bought one!


Categories: India 2012
  1. Deborah Marion
    July 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Oh Tina, I hope you and Pakis have an amazing vacation! We’ll look forward to tales of your adventures when you get home. Thanks for this blog. It’s been a real delight.

  2. July 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Great picture of you with the Taj! I was so glad that I had the opportunity to see it in 2009. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  3. Jordan Adair
    July 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I’m absolutely green with envy that you’ve seen the Taj Mahal! it is truly a magnificent structure and one of the great wonders of the architectural world. Love the photo!

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