Next Up: Agra

Why go to Agra? Because it is the location of one of the world’s most famous structures, the Taj Mahal. I won’t go into its history except to say it was built between 1632 and 1648 to honor the deceased second wife of Shah Jahan. This woman bore 14 children in 19 years and died giving birth to the 14th. I have to say that made her worthy of her husband’s devotion.

We arrived at the site shortly after 6 AM and already there were throngs of people.

At first glimpse of the magnificent building, guess what happened? Everyone stopped to take a photo creating a crush of humanity.

It is difficult not to have an omigosh moment as something so historically familiar becomes a reality. The white marble glistens despite the haze that appears to be perpetual in India.

Looking at the details of the Taj Mahal, one cannot help but marvel at the skills of laborers who worked with tools barely more sophisticated than hammer and chisel.

It always amazes me how often precious materials are used to create intricate designs in ancient construction. Here the beautiful exterior inlay designs are created with onyx, jade and jasper.

Just as stunning as the Taj Mahal are the buildings surrounding it.

The differing material and style create a lovely contrast.

From the Taj Mahal we ventured to the Red Fort which in some ways was even more dramatic.

Built over an eight year period the century before, it ultimately became a place of imprisonment for Shah Jahan as he lost power. It was irritating to learn he was placed there by one of his sons which goes to show that family loyalty is not always a priority!

There were multiple architectural influences here adding to the fort’s interest. They ranged from Arabic

to those more associated with Indian design.

One of the things that makes visits to sites like these is having a good guide. Ours was that and more as he shared information with knowledge and enthusiasm. He was open to questions about subjects having to do with culture, the answers to which go a long way to help understand place.

12 thoughts on “Next Up: Agra

  1. We are visiting in Agra in a couple of days and can not wait. Great post.

    1. Prepare for crowds and go early! Most of all enjoy.

  2. Wow…you are certainly seeing it all. Love your photos.

  3. Your blog is a pleasure. The pictures and history lessons beckon me to follow in your
    footsteps. Your musings demystify a stunningly beautiful land.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. I am so enjoying your adventure,

  5. Excellent tips. This is very informative! I appreciate your hard work.

  6. I am enjoying your comments on your trip. Your photos are really great. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Thanks for sharing these colorful photos! What type of lens did you use? Taj is on my bucket list!

  8. Stunning pictures, Linda! I can’t imagine being there in person. I know it was breathtaking. It seems larger than life in your pics.
    The history of the Taj Mahal was interesting.

  9. I cannot imagine what it looks like in person….everything that you have shared is so breathtaking! Looks like you are truly having a most fabulous time with every new experience each day!

  10. Wow! Amazing and thanks for sharing some of the history. It’s fascinating to read.

  11. I really had no clue as to the Taj Mahal’s location other than to say it’s in India somewhere. Wow…you provide the most interesting and intriguing bird’s eye view!!!

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