india | taj mahal

Agra, India

So this is the Taj Mahal.  The way the locals say it sounds prettier - "todge meh-hell".  According to our tour guide, Taj Mahal literally means "Crown Palace", however it's not a palace.  It's just a tomb.  I guess I wasn't listening when he explained why it's called a palace even though it's a tomb.   Anyway, like any well-known tourist attraction it was not as I expected.  For some reason I thought all the walkways would be covered in marble.  I thought everything would also be perfectly clean.  Woops. wrong again.  The Taj Mahal itself is quite a wonder.  Looking at pictures I really missed how massive the Taj Mahal was.  It's huge.  If you look at the pictures you can see how small the people are. Something I didn't ever notice when I looked at pictures.

To get to the area you see above, you walk through a gate, a courtyard then another building posted at a wall where you enter the actual courtyard where the Taj Mahal is.  It's pretty spectacular to see.  When we walked through the arch (in the picture directly below) the blonds in our group were immediately rushed by schoolgirls and locals so that they could take pictures with the blonds.  It was hilarious.  I wish I had though to take a picture of it all.  With my freedom I spent some time wandering around and taking pictures.  We arrived at the Taj Mahal just as the clouds opened up from the rain.  The Taj Mahal glistened in the sun.  It was really a sight to see.  As we walked along the pond, I realized there was a raised marble platform halfway from the entrance to the Taj Mahal.  You can barely see it in the picture above; without paying close attention, perspective almost makes it look like it's at the base of the Taj Mahal.

Inside the Taj Mahal is every claustrophobe's worse nightmare.  When we went inside all there is to see is a tomb.  From there we were herded through a maze of rooms to exit.  Little Indian women shoved me through each passageway.  I really couldn't handle it.  I couldn't wait to get out.  Outside, the Taj Mahal was a marvel to see.

The other thing I never noticed in pictures were the surrounding buildings.  In the same courtyard as the Taj Mahal were these beautiful red buildings.

I definitely enjoyed this visit to the Taj Mahal.  It's really amazing.  AMAZING!

This picture below is taken while standing at the Taj Mahal looking back at where we entered the courtyard.