Archive for June 18th, 2009

The Taj Mahal

Running on only 3 hours of sleep from the night before, on Tuesday morning I rolled over and grudgingly turned off my alarm and pulled the covers off. At 4:15 am, struggling to find bright clothes to wear that would pop on an all white background in pictures, I eventually was able to make my way down to the hotel lobby to join the others and catch the bus.

When we finally arrived at the famous Taj Mahal, the tired and annoyed feelings for having to get up so early two mornings in a row to drive around on a non-air conditioned, cramped bus all went away with one look at the beautiful structure in front of me. As the sun rose from behind the Taj Mahal and the bright rays reflected beautifully on white stone, it was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever and probably will ever see.

The building only got more beautiful as I got closer. The hand crafted detail on the stone and inlay gem work was some of the most remarkable I’ve ever seen. As the tour guide told us, the gems were brought to Agra from several different countries to creature such extravagant works of art. There are over twenty-eight different types of precious and semi-precious stones that are all hand craved and glued (with a special, secret glue) into the white marble that was brought from Rajasthan. Of the twenty-eight stones, I remember the guide telling us that the jasper from Punjab, the jade and crystal from China. The turquoise was from Tibet and the Lapis lazuli (f fire stone since it glowed when you held light up to it) was from Afghanistan, while the sapphire came from Sri Lanka and the carnelian from Arabia.

The Taj Mahal was one of the most beautiful structures I have ever seen. No picture or discription could ever do it justice which is why I am so happy to have gotten the chance to experience its glory myself. The restless nights and cramped, uncomftably hot bus rides were well worth seeing this magnificant wonder of the world.

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