the Taj Mahal

there are a lot of famous places in india… sometimes it seems like every little thing around is famous to some degree. during our two months of traveling around india, we’ve seen our fare share of major monuments, but the most famous monument of all, the Taj Mahal, we ended up leaving till near the end of our time here. out of two and a half months in india, we’d end up seeing the Taj during our last week here. after a while, i was really starting to wonder what i’d think of the Taj. would i be all that impressed? i mean, was it really that much better than a lot of the other really cool places that i’ve seen??

well, when i finally go to see the Taj Mahal, i was completely blown away. it was so absolutely incredible. the whole thing is made of white marble and is gleaming white. it’s so impressive looking that it almost looks completely unreal, like it’s just a mirage floating there in the air. caryn and i spent several hours just walking around it and looking at it from all angles. the other really cool thing about it was that because of the sun reflecting off of it, as the sun sets, the Taj Mahal seems to be constantly shifting colors, from gleaming white, to shimmery golden, and sometimes to a deep dark grey.

the Taj Mahal is described in the book as being “the most beautiful monument ever dedicated to love” and so it seemed fitting that caryn and i would get to see it on March 9th, our anniversary. after the taj mahal, we decided to go out to a nice dinner. we went to a restaurant at a fancy hotel here named Amar Villas. when we pulled up to the place, on a bicycle rickshaw of all things, we started getting a bit worried that they might not let us inside. the guy at the gate looked at the rickshaw driver as if he was the scum of the earth, but then he let us in. the hotel was fancy… i mean *really* fancy. i felt pretty out of place hanging around there in my grubby tshirt etc.

the dinner was super good. i got a Thali dinner that came with a ton of different kinds of curries, all of them tasting really good. caryn’s dinner wasn’t as great, but the dessert she got was sooooo good!! the dinner ended up being crazy expensive though… especially for indian standards. the cheapest bottle of wine there was like 150$!! when i went to use the bathroom, the urinals had little tiny fuzzy mats that you stood on and everything was gleaming clean. it kind of made me a little sad in a way to see all of this. i thought about all the people that i has seen in town that day. the rickshaw drivers, the construction workers, the ticket collectors. this place was beyond their wildest dreams. their bathrooms weren’t clean,and they certainly didnt have little fuzzy mats to stand on… instead, these people just had a hole in the ground. for me, this hotel was way out of my price range, but i know that if i *really* wanted to stay there, i could afford it… but most people around here, they couldnt save up enough money to stay here even if they saved for several years. i would say that this is the kind of place they could only see on tv… but i doubt that too many of them have tv’s. of course, all of this is quite a generalization, there are plenty of indians who are well off, own tvs, stay in fancy hotels, etc etc… but unfortunately, there are so many others that i see on a daily basis, who dont.

*v

8 thoughts on “the Taj Mahal”

  1. I love the color changes in those last 3 pics.

    And.. I’m jealous. Also that you saw a tiger!

  2. This is the one place in all the world I have REALLY wanted to see!! I love that you have taken the time to take photos catching the lighting at different times of day. Thank you for sharing this with us all!

  3. yeah, it’s really amazing how much the color changes. unfortrunately, it was cloudy that day, or it could have been even more dramatic

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