Our First glimpse of the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal.
In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor  was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. 

“We will travel by horse.” said our Guide.
“OK” I envisioned 3 ladies on a white horse galloping into the Taj Mahal with crowds of people waving as we passed by.
In fact, we went in on a very rickety and bumpy horse and cart.
Our Audience and cheering fans were monkeys with babies on their backs.
It was already hot even though it was only 8.30. Laden with cameras our guide insisted I take a bottle of water…OK, its sensible, but I don’t have water around the  cameras so he decided to carry it for me but not without a grumble.
The entrance, or the gates to the Taj Mahal are quite spectacular as one would imagine.
          The main gateway is about 93 feet in height, is a masterpiece of fine inlay work in itself.
It has beautifully crafted doors on the two sides, one opening towards the court-yard side to receive visitors from all three entry gates, and the other side opening towards the grand white marble Taj mausoleum.
The gate has  profuse inlay work of white marble and precious stones into the red sandstone surface. The top of the gate has eleven domes between two high columns, 22 in all, depicting the number of years it took for the construction of the Masterpiece. 
Through the gates, with bated breath and there you are with 1000’s of other people.
Sadly there was no water in the outside pond. but the image was breathtaking.

Anticipation – it means to Look forward to.
I was 11 years old. Mums friend (can’t remember her name) was a travel agent and she shared her photos of the Taj Mahal.
I was in awe of the photos, and I figured I would visit it one day, but I was worried that I would loose my shoes if I took them off. The thoughts and imaginings of an 11 year old.
And visit it we did today and I didn’t loose my shoes. I had a cute cover over them.
Along with the painting American Gothic, Disneyland, and the Tate Museum, the Taj Mahal was on the list of things I wanted to see when I was a child.
I completed that list today.

We jostled for photos. Our Guide, Officious and “One who needs to be heard” had difficult with this group… we just took off with our cameras.
I think the images speak for themselves.
We photographed, filmed, talked to people and just stood and marveled at the imagery. The breeze flowing over the river that  borders the Taj was cool and refreshing and if we didn’t have a guide who kept us on schedule. we could have just sat  and watched the passing parade of bright clothes and beautiful people.

There is a wonderful rd Mosque situated on the left hand side of the Taj and we spent an hour or there too.
For the first time in a week, we took an afternoon break which gave us the energy to visit the Red Fort in the evening light .It was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD when a Ghaznavide force captured it. Sikandar Lodi (1488–1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi who shifted to Agra and lived in the fort for 14 years.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. ann w says:

    How wonderful! The Taj Mahal looks so beautiful.
    What a day to remember.

  2. Wendy in Kennewick says:

    Breathtaking photos! The patterns and textures would make intriguing quilt designs. I have had no desire to visit India, but your accounts would certainly make me reconsider!

    1. Pamela K Holland says:

      Wendy, it has been one of those occasions where you think “I would love to see that one day” Never ever really imagining that it would com about.
      It is truly one of the worlds wonders and I’m lucky enough to have seen it.

  3. Randy Keenan says:

    Thanks so much for the great shots. Wow the people and colors are fabulous – you are a great photographer! Wow – what fun!

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