Friday, September 2, 2011

Chasing the Taj Mahal Dream 4 - Seen at the Scene

There's something very pleasant when you're just sitting back from a distance, watching time go by. It was fun ogling at the cornucopia of colors and people as they made their homage to Shah Jahan's architectural testament of love to his dear wife Mumtaz Mahal.

Yes, the place gets congested from 9 AM onward (its open til 7 PM), but the compound is huge and there are plenty of spots where one can be alone. The periphery of the plinth beside the mausoleum itself is such a place. You can lie down the ground and enjoy the sun. The charbagh (garden) is vast and there are beautiful trees with benches under canopies where you could play with the animal residents, i.e. squirrels (see below). At the back of the Taj Mahal, there are a few benches which provide solitude as you gaze at the serene Yamuna River flowing behind the mausoleum.

The Taj Mahal is such a pleasantly singular experience that leaving Agra becomes a wistful experience. Once a dream is accomplished, it allows us to dream anew. Isn't that hopeful?

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Parade of visitors climb up the stairs to get to the mausoleum.

Two of its four minarets, these are the ones facing the facade and the garden.

Barefoot tourism. You have to leave your footwear here, although you can opt to wear shoe sheaths over yours.

English Garden was a re-design by British viceroy Lord Curzon who ordered the restoration of the Taj Mahal who fell into disrepair and neglect during the late 19th century. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, it was defaced, and precious stones were chiseled out from its walls. Curzon's restoration was completed in 1908. The garden was remodeled with British-style lawns that we see today.

Courtyard is found as you enter the compound. These courtyards are directly connected to the gates. They're also mostly empty (see photos below).


Ola said...

I do admire how the women in India choose without any mistakes the amazing colors of their clothes!

eye in the sky said...

Me too. I love the way they mix and match colors. Very pleasant for the eyes. :->

Siddhartha Joshi said...

Ah! Nice images, especially the one with the squirrel :) Good to see the usual Taj images rather than the conventional ones...

eye in the sky said...

I like the squirrel photo too because it was perfect timing as I made my way out of the Taj.

Twin said...

Cute squirrel! Can be a lead star in an animated film :)

eye in the sky said...

I think he already did. LOL