On our last full day of touring we went to the Taj Mahal at sunrise.
This is the entry gate. Just look at the inlay calligraphy work around the door.
As you walk toward her, she gets farther away from you. Isn’t that cool? That part was even new to Chris and he’d been there 3 times before.
We took some snaps.
Some silly snaps.
Some close ups of the precious stone inlay and marble work.
Do you like our booties?
I "borrowed" this picture from the internet because you couldn’t take photos inside. Look at all the flower inlay and the huge carved marble screens. It is something truly beautiful. The fifth Mogul Emperor built the Taj Mahal for his dead wife as a shrine to symbolize their eternal love for each other. It is said that it took 20,000 workers almost 22 years to build. Also, it is 99% symmetrical, this being the only discrepancy. The wife's tomb is in the center with the Mogul’s tomb set to one side.
After we stopped at a marble store to see a demonstration of the inlay work that has been passed down through the generations from the families who worked on the Taj Mahal. We already have a few things from this shop from Chris’s earlier visits, but this time we bought a lovely little table.
Here are just some of the ones we got to choose from.
The big ones are massively expensive and would have been even more costly to ship! But they’re beautiful all the same, so I took some snaps.
Next we stopped at Agra Fort where the Mogul Emperor who built the Taj Mahal was eventually imprisoned by his son. It was more like house arrest and this was his prison. He even had a view of the Taj, so sadly he got to look at it every day but never visit it.
This place was like the prequel to the Taj Mahal and they learned a few things about construction. For example many of the precious stones and gems were stolen from this site which is why they perfected the special glue and inlay technique on the Taj.
So that’s one of the 7 wonders ticked off the list. Who knows if we’ll ever see another, although the girls really want to go to the pyramids in Egypt. . .
Here some other impressions of India:
Sorry these posts have been so wordy, it’s just that India as a whole was an over stimulating experience. It was so overly crowded and there were so many things to see, so many sounds, so many smells and so much going on everywhere you looked. It’s a place that is so different than anything else I’ve ever experienced that it changes your whole world view. Anyway this leads to long wordy posts filled with pictures because I find myself trying to keep it all straight in my mind and it’s important to me that the girls have some sort of reference to refer back to. It was a lot for me to take it, I can’t even imagine how the experience was for them. I’ve said it before, they are our little science experiments.
So here's a list of some other things we saw:
- People everywhere
- Living everywhere – in fields, in shanty towns, in slums, in a small area between a divided road, underneath overpasses, in parks, just anywhere along the road
- Houses made of everything – hay and sticks, pieces of metal, bricks, rocks, old doors, tarps, fabric, clay
- People peeing along the side of the road
- People cleaning baby’s bums along the road because there are no diapers
- People bathing in any water around
- Cows eating garbage
- Random fires
- People sweeping dirt
- Kids no older than my children, leading other little children, siblings I’m assuming through the crowded streets, right next to the cars
- People trying to sell you everything, whether they are tapping on the car window or walking along following you.
And the two that stick in my head the most:
- a little girl much smaller than Zuzu carrying a crying baby who couldn’t have been more than a couple months old. That was pretty hard to see.
- a baby sleeping on a pile of rocks, right next to the highway. We were driving along in a rural type area with lots of people working in fields and there was a big pile of rocks, about the size of a car, with a sleeping baby and a toddler aged child crawling around, probably supposed to be sleeping and no adult anywhere near them.
This picture that sort of sums it all up.
And these ones too. On our last morning before heading to the airport, Chris made sure we got to take a bicycle rickshaw ride through the street of Old Dehli. He warned us that if it smelled bad, just to wait a second and it would smell like something else. Boy wasn't that the truth. Urine one second, spicy food the next.
We saw a Moneygram International sign - Chris's company.
There were even monkeys running along all the safe-looking wires above us. That's me and Zuzu in front.
See, there we are - note I'm hanging onto Zuzu for dear life. I wouldn't let her hang onto the metal bars, not because they're dirty but I was afraid she may have lost her knuckles - we were that close to things. It was here and on one of these same rickshaws that we saw 9 school girls on their way to school!