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Archive for July 4th, 2009

I think this speaks for itself:

IMG_5480

The only thing that tops that, for me anyway, was Stonehenge. The Taj was without a doubt the most beautiful building I have ever seen, and it was only made more so by knowledge of the amount of work put into it: 22 years and 20,000 artisans. It is covered in inlaid flowers and passages of the Koran, in tiny pieces of semi-precious stone. Oh, and did I mention that we saw it at sunrise? It literally takes your breath away – I don’t really know how to describe it. 

And yet, despite being one of the new wonders of the world, the Taj is still in India, which means it is still surrounded by poverty stricken children asking for pocket change in return for a trinket. And, for some reason, camels.

Camels at the Taj

After we saw the Taj we saw a demonstration on the inlay work used on the building. The artisans who work there today are the descendants of the original artisans, and they still use the same tools that their ancestors did. There is a type of glue they use to fix the semiprecious stones to the marble which is made of 17 types of tree resin, and the formula is a secret as guarded as that of Coca Cola. 

And just like that, we were done with Agra, and on the bus headed back to Delhi. The trip was just as hot as the one yesterday, although marginally less crowded, as we were given a car to carry some of the luggage. Back in Delhi we toured briefly, and we got to see the India Gate.

India Gate

We had dinner (an amazing dinner) at TG’s parent’s house, and some of us took a much needed nap. We are leaving soon for the airport, and from there to home! 🙂

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