Family / India

The Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_5962February 17, 2013

Hi! Still here!

Things are a bit busy around here with all sorts of fun and work-related things going on. No, not pregnant, although I can forgive readers for thinking so. I too feel like anytime one of my favorite bloggers falls off the face of the Internet for weeks at a time that they always pop back up with a cute little sonogram to show for it.

Not this time though. Β In lieu of that kind of exciting news though, I give you instead the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_5946February 17, 2013

The lighting and the photos weren’t great on this trip, though the company and the scenery was spectacular.

My experience with “must see” cultural sites is that they are often disappointingly underwhelming. Too sterilized, too busy, too touristy to inspire much of the sort of awe I always hope for. I’ll take crowded markets, bustling alleys and desolate empty tombs over World Heritage sites any day of the week.

Except, well, the Taj actually was awe-inspiring. Busy, touristy and filled with too many whistling guards of course; but it seems you can’t build something that big, that blindingly white, that intricately carved and beautiful without inspiring at least little bit of awe– no matter how many bootie-wearing tourists there are present to trod across the slick marble pavers.

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_5969February 17, 2013
A photo of my dad in his booties, by request.

Chris drove through death-defying fog to get us to the Taj and even drove us across the river and through a small village to show us an un-touristed view from the opposite bank.

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_5877February 17, 2013
The fog was too heavy to get any decent views of the Taj from the river bank but how about a couple of shots of Will and our fearless driver?

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_5938February 17, 2013

The Taj was simply stunning; though, when we go back, its the village opposite the river from Agra that I would really like to visit. There the houses are painted not just in the typical blues and purples I’ve seen all over Delhi, but also bring pink, yellow, emerald green and turquoise. As we drove around, my mother, usually unfailingly stoic and even-keeled, giddly remembered a line from that old Helen Hunt flick Twister

“Cow!” says Helen Hunt’s character, “Another cow!” (you kind of have to watch it to understand, I suppose).

Freshly printed fabrics lie drying in the grass on the outskirts of town and monkeys swarm the rusted steel supports of the old bridge to Agra.

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_5884February 17, 2013

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_5892February 17, 2013

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_5907February 17, 2013

We had so much to see and so little time. We’ll be back again for a more thorough exploration of Agra and the surrounding villages. This outing proved the concept though, that it is possible to do the trip in one day, to see the Taj Mahal in the morning and make it back for dinnertime in Delhi. Β It was my first trip to the Taj Mahal, but I’m sure it won’t be our last.

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_6005February 17, 2013

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_6017February 17, 2013

Taj Mahal first trip_MG_6034February 17, 2013
A rare shot of Will and I, thanks Chris! Fearless driver and fantastic photographer!


16 thoughts on “The Taj Mahal

  1. Beautiful photos… Some sites do seem impervious to touristy masses. The Alhambra in Grenada, Spain was another such place, with wall to wall calligraphy, shade and flowing water (in dry landscape).

    • I know! I feel so lucky that Chris was able to get this shot! We have so few of me and Will and I’d like him to have at least a couple to look back at when I’m old and grey! πŸ™‚

  2. Bummer, no baby on the way… =P
    Comme d’ habitude, gorgeous pics! Will just keeps getting cuter!!!
    It’s my dream to visit the Taj! I’m trying to plan a trip to India for sometime before we leve Jakarta, I hope it works out!

    It’s so nice to hear from you and know you are busy and thriving!

  3. Good to see you back! The last photo is lovely, one I would frame. I’m glad to hear the Taj Mahal was as impressive as you would hope. You got some great shots there already, but I imagine you’re keen to go back to take even more… what a place!

    • Thanks J! We have a trip planned for this summer when its brutally hot. We’ll go when the rates at hte nice hotels are super low, go shoot the Taj at dawn and again at dusk and take our sun swimming in the pool all day in between! πŸ™‚

  4. Lovely photos!! It’s been my dream to go to Taj Mahal. Now we’re moving to Mumbai this summer, hopefully we’ll make a trip before too long!

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