Thinking about visiting the Taj Mahal? Read about my experiences there in this excerpt from my travel journal. And prepare to be amazed by this Wonder of the World!!!
Day 1 of Visiting the Taj Mahal
Today we drove 5 hours from Jaipur to the city of Agra, best known as the home of the famous Taj Mahal. It’s one of the 7 New Wonders of the World, and for a good reason!
We arrived in the late afternoon and explored the moon garden, which faces the back of the Taj Mahal. It’s far less touristy than being in the Taj Mahal, and it offers much better panoramic views of the monumental structure!
One thing that I love about India is the blend of the mundane with the exceptional. Even the Taj Mahal demonstrates this, despite being what is undoubtedly the most touristy place in India. I tried to capture this juxtaposition in this photo of a woman herding water buffalo alongside the Taj Mahal.
Day 2 of Visiting the Taj Mahal
Today we had to get up at 5 am, but it was worth it because we got a sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal. In addition, the Taj wasn’t terribly crowded and the monument itself was UNBELIEVABLE!
The Taj was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1631 as a tomb and memorial for his wife. It took approximately 20 years to build the Taj Mahal, with the help of 20,000 workers!
The Shah built a guesthouse on the right side of the Taj Mahal and a mosque on the left. Both were stunning, but I especially loved the mosque!
All of the surrounding structures are made of red marble, including the mosque and guesthouse.
Even the entrance is made of red marble, which makes the white marble of the Taj Mahal stand out even more!
Of course, the Taj Mahal isn’t just made of white marble! The domes are inlaid with gems and precious stones, and the walls are covered in Quranic verses. The Arabic script is created by inlaying thin slivers of black marble into the white marble walls. I have never seen such incredible craftsmanship!
In fact, even the white marble is decorated with intricate engravings – all done by hand, of course!
Being in the presence of such an awe-inspiring structure was fiercely moving. To be honest, I didn’t expect much before coming to the Taj Mahal, as I often find top tourist attractions to be overrated. However, this place was clearly an exception, as I was absolutely floored by the Taj! Not to mention I had the time of my life taking photos!
Want to know more about my travels in India? Click here to read about my previous excursion or here for the following excursion. Or, you can click here to read about all of my travel trips and adventures in Asia!
Happy Travels! XOXO Ann