Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The Taj Mahal --- Could be the most beautiful building in the world --- built as a love memorial by a Mughal lord for his lovely Indian wife. It doesn't fail to impress regardless of seeing it in hundreds of pictures before. We got up early, around 6:00 AM, in order to see it in the early hours. After dressing, I went to the rooftop terrace where you were suppose to be able to see it. Too misty. Oh no, what if it's too yucky today? And we got the kids up at the crack of dawn for nothing!! We walked to the East Gate, bought our tickets (about $15.00 US each for lisa and I and free for the kids --- good deal compared to US and European site prices) and walked in. The first anticipated sight came into view – WOW!!!! It's big, it's white (white marble in its entirety), it's symmetrical, and has beautiful grounds. It's also shrouded in a mist until the sun burns it off and afterwards has the ever present Agra pollution as a background. As an architectural buff, this was a real treat. The use of curves, straight lines, minarets as “soldiers” guarding the queen, colorful jewels and the always present symmetry makes it great.
If there is one issue, it is that the white marble made it difficult to photograph with the mist as a background. In the post cards and books you see it with a blue sky. Those photos were made by professional photographers with special lenses and filters. What you see are our best “shots”.