Obligatory Taj Mahal Post

It’s been weeks since we last posted, so I imagine to some we are still in that aggressively commercial underwater holy city, Varanasi. But we’ve gone so far and seen so much since then that Varanasi almost feels like another country. We weren’t too worried about our lack of posts until we realized it had been almost two weeks since we’ve left Agra and we hadn’t posted the obligatory Taj Mahal picture.

Growing up, India was that faded polaroid in my mom’s photo album:   a young woman dressed all in black, wincing into the sunlight in front of this glowing white collection of arches and domes. As all things foreign are conflated in a child’s imagination (and popular culture in general), the Taj Mahal came to be, to me, the symbol of India as well as  Arabia, Aladdin, the Middle East, and all things Asian and exotic. While I’ve since parsed out those very different places, the Taj Mahal still holds the allure that it had when I was a child. And I don’t think I’m the only one. I  think it would be appropriate  to suggest that to many, India is mostly just the country that holds the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, and a visit to India without going there would hardly be a visit at all.

So, there was a lot of hype.

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Jevhon’s mom, Joyce, in front of the Taj Mahal

 

But it genuinely lived up to it.

 

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Many very helpful Indians volunteered to take our photo in front of the Taj, but none succeeded in getting a straight one. We figured enough photos of the Taj Mahal have been taken that it can do without a few more with us.

Photos and description would fail to do justice to the beauty of this obscenely detailed vision in marble and while description may just lose your attention entirely, a few photos could attempt to impress one with the experience:

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Currently, we’re in Rajasthan, the land of fearless warriors with fantastic mustaches and colorful turbans, garishly painted elephants, towering, ornate palace-forts, bejeweled camels, cities that are almost entirely blue, pink, or gold, and endless, rugged desert. Stay tuned.

 

Stay tuned.

आप सब वापस आ अब, तुम सुन रहे हो? is Hindi for “Y’all come back now, you hear?”

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3 thoughts on “Obligatory Taj Mahal Post

    • I’d say a good 1 – 2 hours. Definitely would recommend a guide, either an audio tour or real person, so you can get some history and context. Either should take about an hour and then you can wander.

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