Agra (& the Taj Mahal)

Majestic. That is the word. The Taj Mahal is majestic. It’s light-kissed white marble glows as the sun’s beams play off it throughout the day. It’s shimmering mass hints at magic and fairytales, but it’s sheer size and shape make it purely and unarguably regal. It stands on the edge of the river as if a guardian. It is hard to explain, but the Taj doesn’t just sit there as if plunked heavily into its foundations like most buildings. It stands tall like a proud woman looking down on the passing currents of gray water. Not bent forward, not melancholy nor pensive, but neither indifferent to it’s place. It is aware. It is as if it belongs there and nowhere else, that just being there is its purpose and in that purpose it takes pride. It is majestic.
The Taj Mahal, Agra

From every vantage point in the city of Agra, the Taj carries this attitude. From the window of our quirky guest house, from the gardens across the river, from the grand and intimidating Red Fort, that tall and proud woman stands white in the golden Indian sun.

The Red Fort, Agra
Of all the glorious architecture to be seen in Agra, the only one that compares is wrongfully names the “Baby” Taj. Older and smaller than the Taj Mahal, it is no less worthy of praise. Made of the same white marble, what it lacks in sky-piercing height it makes up for in intricate mosaics. It’s gardens are fresher and the grounds are nearly empty of people, unlike it’s famous grandchild.

The Baby Taj, Agra
India thrives with bright colors. Drying sheets of laundry on the ground of all different hues, yellow painted cows and blue dotted donkeys, painted faces of children during a moving festival that crossed our paths many times during the day, saris on women, flowers on bushes, clothes in shop windows, and the red red red of henna stained hair and beards on the heads of men. There is no way to describe the colors of India!

Drying Sheets
Children at a festival.

We spent one night and two days in Agra and like all of the places we visited during our Indian breakfast, it was not nearly long enough. Two days is enough time to see every “must-see” place, but it is like taking in the sent of a bottle of red wine and then not getting to taste it. Alas, all to soon, we were back on a train to Rajastan… my favorite of all the States.


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