Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Taj Mahal

The entire group (Dad, Alana, Dr. Taylor, Anoop, Kavita, Prof. Rahn and I) made the trip to Agra to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal. 

We made the decision to drive to Agra. A five hour drive through a series of small towns in the insane, no rules style of driving shot our nerves to hell and back. Every time you enter a different state, you have to stop and pay a toll tax. This means a mass exodus of peddlers storm your car. 

Some with pet monkeys...

Prim, our driver, clearly explained before he left the car to not open the doors or windows. What does Dad do? Opens a window.... I shot a video but it won't load with third world internet service. I hate I cut the camera off before Alana said: "Roll his fingers up in the window Dad."

We stopped for a bathroom break... Dad had to test out the guard's sword...

Our ride from the parking lot to the Taj Mahal entrance.... A Tuk Tuk.

We passed Tuk Tuks with 13 Indians jammed in there. We Americans could only go three deep.

For Alana and I, this is the second Wonder of the World for us. Alana has been to Chichen Itza in Mexico and I have been to the Colosseum in Rome. I truly do not have words to describe how perfect the Taj Mahal is. The symmetry, colors, design, and human ability of that time creates an immaculately  lustrous experience in the midst of a third world country. Pictures will never do it justice...

The main entrance

The one in a million view...

Yes, I got in front of the camera for one shot. There is a first time for everything.

Taking part of my family with me on the journey has been the best part.

We had to put on shoes covers since you are supposed to go barefoot in the Taj Mahal.

Again, pictures and words could never do the Taj Mahal justice.

Everything is hand carved and hand made. Everything.

The fisheye lens is my favorite.

Each tower is two degrees off center for two reasons. The first is to keep the towers from falling in on the building in the case of an earthquake. The second is to make the Taj Mahal look completely symmetrical from afar.

The writing on the exterior of each entrance are versus from the Quran. The writing continually get larger from bottom to top making the writing look completely uniform from eye sight.

These buildings are to the South, East and West of the Taj Mahal. Each had a different purpose. The South as the grand entrance, the East as a place to stay for visitors of the King, and the west as a place for worship for those visitors.

Again, I can't take them anywhere... Dad learned that pose from Pook (my little sister Madison).

This is only one of many pictures Alana took with other Indian visitors. Alana claims they thought she was a Bollywood celebrity. I think they were just amazed at the tsunami on the top of her head....

The view to the South from the Taj Mahal.

On the way out...

Making the trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal was truly a once in a life time experience. Truly worth traveling to a third world country to see. I hope my pictures helped take you guys with me. 

I speak in just a few hours. Alana keeps asking if I am nervous. Not really. I am more nervous about eating the wrong food than anything. 

We are taking a tour through old and new Delhi with Kavita (Anoop's wife) tomorrow. Jaipur is on Friday. Stay tuned.


  1. Wow! I keep trying to hit the "like" button on your pictures! Lol Thanks for sharing your experiences! I think I will hire you as my tour guide when I get ready to travel!

  2. "tsunami on the top of her head...." - Best caption on your entire blog! Looks as if you guys are having a great time! Be Safe !!!