…we went to the Taj Mahal!
Yes, we got to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World, something not everyone can say for themselves.
We left at 5 a.m. (8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) to head to Agra on a 4.5-hour bus ride, arriving around midnight EST. While you might have been dreaming of palaces in exotic lands, we were living the dream.
The love story of the Taj Mahal, which seems more like a fairytale, has been told for almost 400 years. It is a story of an Indian emperor’s promise to his wife on her death bed that he would create a memorial for her, and that all of the world would remember her and their love. If you know me, you know that this almost brought me to tears, as our tour guide told us of the emperor’s promise to never marry and to never bring another mother to her children and to be kind to them, a promise he kept and a love that at least 10,000 people still witness on a daily basis. The Taj Mahal is a breath-taking sight to see that you aren’t really prepared for as you go through the Taj Complex that is opposite the palace. All of a sudden it’s there and there’s a million people taking pictures. You have to take a second to let it sink it before trying to get the perfect spot for a picture.
What is amazing to me is the perfect symmetry of the palace and careful planning that went into its construction. There is a mosque to the right of the Taj Mahal if you are facing it, and a structure of the exact same construct on the opposite side which has the sole purpose of symmetry and is not used as a mosque because it doesn’t face the right direction, toward Mecca.
Dr. K had initially prepared us for blistering heat that would radiate off the white marble of the palace, but it was cloudy so we were kind of lucky. We took some Gator Chomp group photos in front of the Taj and some other silly ones taken by a professional photographer that some of us bought to remember and tell the story for years to come.