Reblogged: The Taj Mahal – Finally!

Reblogged is a series of blog posts on my life in India coming from the weblogs I set-up. It’s an attempt to put the stories all in one place! The post The Taj Mahal – Finally! was originally posted on October 15, 2012, a month after I’ve taken the trip on September 9. Another post is connected to this one, which will be posted as a Viahera Vlog. The visit to Agra was a side trip before attending the official meetings of the Volunteer Committee (which I was a part of) at the VSO India office (read: no extra cost charged to VSO) to discuss policies for volunteers and put forth comments, opinions and suggestions from volunteers in India for improvement in programme support and effectiveness of volunteer placement and organisational partnerships.

Before coming to India, I only know a few things about this sub-continent and what stands out among these is the Taj Mahal. I barely know the story about Taj Mahal before I came here, only that it is a must-see monument, one of the seven wonders of the world.

The Taj Mahal
Oh hello there!

That said, I know it will be a disservice, a betrayal to India, and a look of disappointment from people back home if I did not see the Taj Mahal. So, when after six months of being in India I finally had the opportunity, I went!

Must-see while in India: Taj Mahal, check!

I believe that going to the Taj Mahal will be the peak of my traveling days here in India, at least to the eyes of many back home whose knowledge of India and it’s culture will mainly be of the Taj Mahal too. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that India is not popular or that the people I know have limited knowledge of the world. It’s just that, when you say India, the first thing that comes to mind is not castes, not discrimination, not poverty, not 1.2 billion people, and not BRICS. It is Taj Mahal.

In fairness, it really is a sight to behold

Anyway, before we stray away from the Taj Mahal and do further disservice to this edifice of love (which claimed the arms, if not lives, of the thousands of workers who laboured for its completion–just saying!), here are some snaps! The video playlist will be in the next post for a closer and more, uhm, “I can almost feel that I am there too” kind of experience. Enjoy!

View from the Agra Fort
View from the Agra Fort
Before queuing to get inside
Before queuing to get inside
Lighthouse effect!
Lighthouse effect!
Yamuna River
Yamuna River
The queue
Such a long queue for low-value ticket (Rs 20) holders…like me! I managed to get in at Rs 20 instead of Rs 750 as my half-decent Hindi passed with the tour guide. In fairness to me, I have the right for the ticket as I am officially a resident, with proof!
I'm soooo small (resting while the boys from the bus are in line)
I’m soooo small (resting while the boys from the bus are in line)
elaborately designed paintings and carvings
elaborately designed paintings and carvings (close-up of above photo)
Inside the Taj Mahal: The Tombs of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his third wife Mumtaz Mahal
Inside the Taj Mahal: The Tombs of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his third wife Mumtaz Mahal (this is actually what the queue was for)
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