Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Day at Agra and the Taj Mahal

It has been an incredibly long day and I am definitely fighting a sinus infection. I drank 5 cups of herbal tea and a huge bottle of water last night, skipped dinner and went to bed early hoping I would feel well enough to go to Agra today. Thankfully, I did feel much better this morning, but started losing steam around 4pm. (I just got back to the hotel room around 8pm.)

So, I am going to keep this short and sweet so I can take a hot shower and get to bed early again--I have another day of sightseeing planned for tomorrow. We'll just call this a photo essay of my day at Agra. (I have lots of pictures of my coworkers, too. But since I don't have their permission, I won't be posting them here.)

Cute little Ganesha on top of the welcome center.

Taj Mahal's north gate. There are 22 little domes on top (11 on each side) for the 22 years it to build the compound.

Me and the north gate.

First view of the Taj Mahal, passing through through the north gate.

Me and the Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal, full frame.

Taj Mahal domes and trees.

Taj Mahal domes.

Taj Mahal marble inlay. A total of 28 different precious and semi-precious stone from all over were used for various inlay designs, including lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, carnelian from Arabia, malachite from China, and turquoise from Tibet.

Me in front of the inlay work.

Taj Mahal tomb chamber. (Actually not supposed to take pictures of this room, but our guide told me to.) Each of the screens are carved from a solid marble slab and the most intricate inlay work is in the tomb chamber.

One of the 4 minar surrounding the main building.

Taj Mahal from the east courtyard.

The Taj Mahal mosque to the west. An identical red sandstone building stands to the east.

Red sandstone screen.

A couple of views of the Taj Mahal through arches.

Taj Mahal with reflecting pools.

A colonnade at the east gate.

More inlay work.

A close up of one of the minarets on top.

Aerial roots of a ficus in the Taj Mahal gardens.

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