At the Taj Mahal at Agra

The pictures speak for themselves [but there are captions if you wish more info].

Taj Mahal Tour - East Gate Taj Mahal Tour Touts Taj Mahal Tour South Gate Taj Mahal Tour South Gate Detail - Koran scripture is inlaid around the gate entrance Taj Mahal Tour South Gate Detail

Taj Mahal Tour Framed by South Gate

Taj Mahal Tour From South Gate (4) Taj Mahal Tour w Amy and Jeannie Taj Mahal Tour on a tray w Amy Finishing touches on Taj Mahal dome - typical pose at the Taj Taj Mahal Tour beside Platform Taj Mahal Tour View from base of Taj Mahal To Gate Taj Mahal Tour South Gate

Taj Mahal Tour Stairs up to Taj Mahal main level Taj Mahal Tour Main Level - the line starts here Taj Mahal Tour Line across MosqueTaj Mahal Tour Mosque Taj Mahal Tour Mosque w JKL & Amy  Taj Mahal Tour The line to enter

Taj Mahal Tour Red-footed Visitors 

Taj Mahal Tour Colorful Saris in Line Taj Mahal Tour Colorful Line Taj Mahal Tour Colorful Line Taj Mahal Tour Colorful Line 

Taj Mahal Tour Detail Taj Mahal Tour Detail of Onyx, Jasper, White Marble Inlaid Workmanship Taj Mahal Tour Detail of Onyx, Jasper, White Marble Inlaid Workmanship Taj Mahal Tour Detail of Onyx, Jasper, White Marble Inlaid Workmanship, note the chipped white marble showing precise onyx inlayTaj Mahal Tour Detail of Onyx, Jasper, White Marble Inlaid Workmanship Taj Mahal Tour Detail of Onyx, Jasper, White Marble Inlaid Workmanship Taj Mahal Tour Floral Panel of one solid white marble piece Taj Mahal Tour Floral Detail of Coralyne, Lapis, Onyx, Jasper, White Marble Inlaid Workmanship Taj Mahal Tour Floral Panel of one solid white marble piece Taj Mahal Tour Entry into Mausoleum

We could not take pictures of the interior of the Mausoleum (though several tourists disregarded this and there were flashes everywhere!).  The entire Taj Mahal was designed with perfect symmetry in mind.  The only part that puts off this perfect symmetry is the tomb of the King himself, placed there next to his First Wife, instead of in a panel of her tomb as it was intended.  The Second Son who had imprisoned his father, the King, ruled for decades (almost 40 years), prevented any maintenance or more work to be done on the Taj Mahal.  When the King died, his daughter placed his tomb by the side of his First Wife in respect to his memory, disregarding the original plans. 

The Taj Mahal is made of white marble from Rajasthan region, and other inlaid stones like Jasper, Onyx, Lapis, Coralyne, Jade, Mother of Pearl, Turquoise, and Malachite from various parts of the world.  When the Queen lay dying with her 14th child, she was asked by the King what she wanted from him.  She asked for three things.  First, that the King never remarry; second, that he take care of their children; and third, that he build a memorial befitting her memory.  He gathered several architects from the Persia and India, and in six months of designing, they began building. 

It took 22 years to build the Taj Mahal, over 20,000 craftsmen and workers dedicated to working only on the mausoleum and buildings.  There are many white marbled buildings, but the Taj Mahal is more than just a building or a memorial.  It is a symbol of undying love and devotion, and many come to feel the spirit of the love between the King and his Queen.  It is obviously held in high regard by many and to be respected, as the well-dressed and colorful saris worn by the Indian women seem to attest. 

In 1967, the Taj Mahal became a World Heritage site.  To protect the Taj Mahal, the local airport has diverted flights, and eliminated several that would otherwise create pollution and thus, darkening the white marble.  The same has been done with vehicles prohibited from driving up to the gates.  Electric Vehicles are used to drive visitors to the gates.  Very Eco-Friendly!

These are views after the interior tour, including scenes on the street.

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