2.21.2011

THE Taj

We woke up early this morning to see the Taj Mahal at ‘sunrise.’ I say ‘sunrise’ because I’m pretty sure that it has a different definition in India. We expected to be standing at the Taj as the sun rose over it but apparently ‘a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal’ actually means being there during the early morning, after it is light outside. No matter what light, it was breath taking and felt surreal. It is so strange to be standing at the foot of such a well known monument. We all gave in and allowed one of the men to take our pictures and then print and sell them to us. I definitely have one of me ‘holding’ the Taj. SO classy. The pictures turned out great so I was more than willing to pay my 300 rupees for my 3 pictures. As we got closer to the building I was even more impressed. I had no idea how ornate the building itself was. All the pictures you see only show the building itself, no details. It is made of Indian marble and has beautiful gem stone in lays, carved flowers and is all around impressive. The fact that is over 300 some years old makes it all the more special. I learned a lot more about the history of its construction, like it took 22 years and that there was supposed to a black Taj next to it that never was made. There are also two mausoleums flanking either side that are gorgeous. As with every single other place I’ve visited while here, there were stray dogs roaming the grounds. I could’ve sat there and stared at it all day. Only 6 other man made wonders of the world left to see.

We didn’t do much else in Agra after that because the drive took so long getting there and most of the group had to fly back home that night. So, we made the long drive back to Delhi. I think it actually took even longer to get back but I didn’t mind, I loved looking out the window and seeing all the little towns and people out doing whatever it is they do. That night the travel agency was supposed to book a hotel for 3 of us but when we arrived it turned out that they didn’t!! Again, it is wedding season so all four of us (Mo already had a single room booked) squeezed into two single rooms. I didn’t even care, I can sleep anywhere anytime.

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