The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the world’s instantly recognizable structures. Built as a mausoleum for the wife of one of India’s Mughal kings, it is a true wonder of the world and an eternal symbol of the love between two people. It’s not a place I necessarily thought I would visit, but one cannot go to India without stopping at the Taj Mahal.

If you go, go early. Get there just as the sun is rising, as the soft morning light brings out the beauty of the white marble stone. …And, it’s not overwhelmed with tourists.

A couple of interesting things we learned from our tour guide:

  • The Arabic calligraphy inscribed on the building outside the Taj Mahal appears to be the same size as you look up at it. In fact, the text is significantly larger at the top than it is at the bottom, but this creates an illusion of uniformity to the eye.
  • Similarly, the four minarets which border the Taj Mahal are actually tilted just slightly outward. If they had been built perfectly vertical, visitors would begin to feel them tilting inward as you approached closer to the building. By building them just off vertical, they actually look straight.
  • There are building on either side of the Taj Mahal that you rarely see in pictures. The one on the left side (as you face the Taj) is actually a mosque. The one of the right is an exact copy of the mosque on the other side, but is just a “guest house,” because it cannot point towards Mecca.
  • Taj Mahal from Metab Bagh Gardens
  • Detail of Domes
  • The Taj
  • Children Carrying Sticks
  • Child Carrying Sticks
  • Entry Gate to the Taj Mahal
  • Detail of Arabic Calligraphy
  • Entering the Taj Mahal
  • First Sight of the Taj
  • Taj Mahal at Sunrise
  • Beth Bundled Up
  • Taj Mahal
  • Taj Mahal
  • Minarets in the Sunrise
  • Looking up at the Marble Foundation
  • Entering the Taj Mahal
  • Mosque Next to Taj Mahal
  • River Tower
  • Local Fishermen
  • Detail of Taj Dome
  • The Majestic Taj Mahal
  • Vic and Beth at the Taj Mahal

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