So I’m jumping on the blog-bandwagon. I figured that for the next year while I’m out of the country in Bangladesh, instead of bothering people with a flood of impersonal mass emails, I would post it all in a one of these hip and trendy blog thingies, so that those interested could read about my life as they pleased. I have an affinity towards digression and half of what I write will probably be more like journal entries for myself to reread one day than anything else... but enjoy...

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ahhh... the Taj

Went with Sharon for one night to Agra... and yes, the Taj Mahal certainly lived up to it's hype. Enjoyed it even though I was sick and feverish... Everyone should know the endearing story of the Taj. The inside of the Taj is the most beautiful part, the obscenely intricate marble gate surrounding the tombs, that of the 22 years of building the Taj, itself I think took 10 years... but pictures are not allowed to be taken inside.

Took a Friday night train down there from Delhi. Got up early on Saturday and was at the Taj by 6am, to see it in the morning light. Then went to a couple other places, including "Baby Taj" and the Red Fort, learned a bunch about Mughal history from a great tour guide we were with all day. I've decided to name my first born Akbar.

The Taj is amazing... my father drew an analogy with the Grand Canyon - you've got to see it to believe it, type thing.

We stayed in a gorgeous hotel called the Taj View Hotel that lived up to its name.

View from Taj View Hotel room

Mosque on side of Taj

Reflection in Pool

I swear I'm the first person to ever come up with this idea for a shot...

View from the Taj back towards the entrance

No powered vehicles are allowed anywhere near the Taj (I think to avoid sut from discoloring the marble). So the lawns are cut by ox-pulled mowers.

Lawnmower

You often feel like a movie star when you go to places like this. Strangers always want to take pictures with you... interesting...

Friendly folk

Backside of Taj from across the River Yamuna

Baby Taj

Apparantly the decendents or the original artisans who worked on the intricate marble and semi-precious stone work have continued this tradition, and the Indian government subsidizes their work to make sure they sure they stay in business. We got to see some of these "orginal descendants" doing what they do.

Of course like everything else in world it turned into a marketing scheme to encourage you to buy $6000 marble tables and chess boards...

Marble and Semi-Precious Stong Artisans

The Agra Red Fort

At the Red Fort we got to go into this secret chamber (apparently forbidden to the public until you bribe the guard) with lots of tiny mirrors all over the wall and ceilings. The King would have his mistresses dance with candles in their hands in this room. We were actually lucky enough to have a re-enactment of this mistress dancing act by one of these ... ummm "unisex" guards (claiming himself to be neither man nor woman) only too happy to frolic and prance around in the dark holding candles!

2 Comments:

Blogger Kelvin said...

Kia Ora (Hello) from a blogger down under in New Zealand. What great photos. Can I mention your blog on one of my blogs - 21 21 21 Blogs ???

12/15/2005 1:01 PM

 
Blogger Kelvin said...

Kia Ora (Hello) from that blogger down under in New Zealand - again !!! Boy, o boy o boy - I had a look in your archives & have travelled from the begining of your blog right up to now and what can I say ??? I am really blown away with your photos and your blog. I have listed it on my blog - 21 21 21 Blogs - @ #768. I was going to mention that you look like a "film star" as well but then people would be looking at you rather than looking at the photos (hehe) Merry Christmas !!!
www.blogger.com/profile/9098295

12/17/2005 8:10 PM

 

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