Taj Mahal

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The Taj Mahal  is one of the world’s most famous and recognizable buildings. Remember a forlorn Princess Diana sitting on the famous bench, all alone?  Her prince was not with her. According to our guide, the Shah, who had this built, did not poke out the Persian architect’s eyes when construction was complete, to insure this design would forever be unique. Many blinded eyes would have been needed to insure that.  Just a myth.  The true story is quite romantic and familiar to most of us, but there are a few details I learned to share with you. The Shah Jaham had the Taj Mahal built as a burial vault for his beloved wife Mumtaz who died in the 16th century. But I get ahead of myself. The story goes that the Shah and his wife were camping in the mountains when their 14th child decided to be born early. Mumtaz developed complications, but before she died asked three things of her husband.  She wanted him to promise never to remarry, to cherish and care for their children, and to build her a monument for the world to see of their great love.  The third request became his life’s passion and work. It has been described as “one of the most elegant and harmonious buildings in the world.” The height struck us as when first seeing the Pyramids of Giza. The setting is a garden, not just your ordinary garden but an image of the Islamic garden of paradise.Image  The cost was 41,000,000 rupees, 1,102 pounds of gold and it took 20,000 workers twelve years to complete.  The Shah’s plan was to build himself a matching tomb, but crafted of black  onyx.  Imagine!  But his oldest son, the new Shah put his father in the fort as a prisoner for the last eight years of his life.  The young Shah thought his father had spent enough rupees on  his extravagant projects. Maybe the father had not spent enough time “loving and cherishing” that son!

It is impossible for me to say something unforgettable about this day in Agar at the Taj.  I will just retell how we spent our time.   We spent two nights so we had parts of two days to visit. We got up and walked to be at the site for the sunrise.Image In India, you are always assured of a sunrise though some are heightened by pollution which brightens the color.   We left the hotel at 5:45, yes all the sleepy- headed students, to capture an unforgettable sunrise shot.  The grounds open at 6:30 and we were in line for tickets before six.  The ticket was for one entry and we had hoped to enter early, go back for breakfast and then return.  Much discussion followed.  Some chose to enter then and stay. Others went with David and me to walk along the high brick wall to get a behind the Taj shot.  As you can see, we weren’t disappointed.  We also saw the river and a parade of monkeys jump from the trees and line up on the Taj wall. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIrHGgBI2SM&feature=youtu.be   (Thanks Erin)   Security was extra tight. One person had a hand gun and all that happened was he was told to put it in a locker!  We all shuddered to think of a terrorist attack here!  If you are planning a visit, Friday the site is closed to all but Muslims who are permitted to pray in the mosque which adjoins the tomb.Image About half the kids stayed at the Taj from sunrise to sunset and no food is allowed inside.  Others were there for many hours and even watched the sunset from the roof of a restaurant.562358_10152310851099460_1388457796_n  Though it is hard to put any of this in anything but cliches …. I think awe is what we all felt at the size, perfection, and beauty overwhelming us.  The next day we had to have just a last visit as we rolled out of town.  The driver took us across the river to the unused site of the onyx tomb for some shots of sunrise and the Taj  reflected  in the water.  The kids raced along the river with guards frantically blowing their whistles… ecstatic Black-Friday shoppers racing for the perfect pix instead of the perfect gift. (Thanks Liz for the picture.)

The Taj Mahal has been described as “a poem, a vision, and a wonder.”  My favorite is David’s words describing it as a “sublimely useless” building.

Nameste….T I I

( There is a rumor circulating of some architecture students and their professor “flash dancing” that may be posted on YouTube…..stay tuned…..)Image

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in Architecture, India, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Taj Mahal

  1. Page Shields says:

    Your pictures of the magnificent building are so good….I loved the one looking from the dark to the light and the one of the flowers in the foreground. I didn’t remember that it was set in a garden. Loved the monkeys……great contrast to the elegance of the structure….and so India!
    Look forward to the dancing Americans :-).

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    • annetbell says:

      Oh Page…I am so glad that you enjoyed the post. It is funny about the camera….David bought a new one and gave me his old one. Magically, I am not longer cutting heads off and such. Quite amazed myself!

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  2. Christian Bell says:

    Very interesting…agree, great pictures. Sometimes I am even amazed at what technology can do.

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  3. donna marie johnson says:

    It is not. Completely useless as it inspires the human spirit with awe and wonder and those gifts of inspiratiion are pri,celess. What I loved most were the different views of the building. I don’t ever remember seeing the inside. Too bad he didn’t take care of that son as it would be interesting to see what the black wonder would look like. Anne, you make me feel as if I am there. Loving the journey.

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  4. awesome blog. i enjoyed reading your articles. this is truly a great read for me. i have bookmarked it and i am looking forward to reading new articles. cheers. lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email lista de email

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    • annetbell says:

      Camilla, I am so glad you enjoyed reading my blog post about the Taj Mahal. It is an amazing experience seeing it and being on that beautiful site. I hope you will check-out my other posts on this incredible Indian journey I am on . We are leaving soon for 10 days in the South….from what I hear an entirely different India to explore. Nameste…..T I I anne talesalongtheway.com

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  5. Visiting the Taj Mahal has been a goal since I was a child. I’ve been a lot of places but still waiting to get there. Thanks for taking me along with your beautiful pictures!

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    • annetbell says:

      The Taj is just one of those sites like the pyramids and the Grand Canyon….you just have to see it to believe. I hope you get there sooner rather than later. When you go, do remember the early morning pictures from behind the wall, then across the river , and search out the restaurant top for dinner with a view. Awesome couple of days! Thanks for commenting….namaste. . . .Anne

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      • I have a friend who got engaged on the bench in front of the Taj a couple of months ago. She borrowed my plug adapters and charging equipment so my stuff has been to India. Now it’s my turn!

        On another note, I didn’t see a way to subscribe to your blog. I believe it’s a widget called “Follow Blog” that you can add to one of the widget areas. If you add it, I will follow!

        Namaste.

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      • annetbell says:

        What a great story. I was just going through all your likes and trying to write a short thank you for all your reading. I am terrible with the technology, so I have no idea about about widgets and such. People do subscribe, so I know it is possible. Did you look at the top and down the sides? I think you can follow from email as well. I would love to have your follow so I hope it works out. Sorry to be such a technophobe…but I am . Namaste. . . . .Anne

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      • annetbell says:

        I just typed in TalesAlongTheWay.com There was a dark bar under the url and the upper left corner. . First came the name of the blog and there was a button to click following or unfollow. Let me know if that works, or I will see if I get notification!. Good luck and thanks for reading every post today…wow….what a compliment! Namaste. . . .Anne

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  6. Pingback: All Sorts of Foolishness at the Sublime Taj Mahal! | TalesAlongTheWay

  7. Pingback: Security in India. . . . . The Taj Mahal | TalesAlongTheWay

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