Agra ~ Taj Mahal, I’timad-ud-Daulah, Agra Fort

Sunday, March 23, Agra, India

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

For as long as I can remember I have dreamed of visiting the Taj Mahal.  Truly a monument to love, and considered by many as one of the seven wonders of the world. Built on the orders of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1631 and 1648, it stands as a memorial to his third and favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died during childbirth of their 14th child.

Taj Mahal means the “Place of the Crown”.  It took 1000 elephants to haul materials and 20,000 laborers to construct the mausoleum.  It was built in perfect symmetry, primarily of white marble.

“The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. ~ Wikipedia

In 1983 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Shah was eventually imprisoned by his own son and spent the last eight years of his life locked up in Agra Fort with a view of the Taj Mahal from his chambers.

Security is very tight at the monument with everything being inspected and/or x-rayed.  We were given a list of things that could not be taken inside, such as knives, finger nail clippers, weapons, food, gum or dangerous items.  Right off the bat we got into trouble at security.

Some of you have seen our pal “Gus” who has traveled around the world with us and had his picture taken in many countries.  He is a small stuffed animal that Tim liberated for me from one of those “claw” vending machines at the Santa Monica Pier on one of our first dates.  I thought taking his picture at the Taj Mahal would make a nice addition.

Anyway, poor Gus did not make it past security.  Thankfully our resourceful guide, “VeeKay” helped us out by calling someone on his cell phone who rushed to the rescue and kept Gus safe and sound for us while we explored the Taj.

Here is a picture of the poor, confused person trying to understand why in the world he was being summoned to babysit a small stuffed animal…

It is probably a good thing I can not understand Hindi about now!

It is probably a good thing I can not understand Hindi about now!

The Great Gate - gateway to the Taj Mahal

The Great Gate – gateway to the Taj Mahal

Tim and Joanne, another happy love story...

Tim and Joanne, another happy love story…but no memorial tomb required

Taj Mahal Mosque

Taj Mahal Mosque

The Tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah

Located a short drive from the Taj, is the tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah.  Also known as the “Baby Taj” or the “Jewel Box”, build a few years earlier (1622-1628) it is considered the draft of the Taj Mahal.

The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula

The tomb of I’timad-ud-Daulah

The Indian women are beautiful in their colorful sarees

The Indian women are beautiful in their colorful sarees

Relaxing on the steps

Relaxing on the steps

Agra Fort

Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Agra Fort is located only a short distance from the Taj Mahal.  The current structure is a red sandstone walled city from the 16th century, however originally on this same site was a brick fortress dating back to the 11th century.

Agra Fort

Agra Fort

Agra Fort

Agra Fort

 

Courtyard inside Agra Fort

Hall of Public Audience and Courtyard inside Agra Fort

We also managed to squeeze in a visit to a local marble shop where we saw intricate examples of inlaid work.

Marble inlay

Marble inlay

And then finally a night out on the town where we sampled local cuisine and watched beautiful dancers.  Tim looks like he is having fun!

Tim dancing the night away...

Tim dancing the night away…

I am almost a week behind on my blog now.  Hmmm, got to figure out a way to make this easier, shorter or both.

GRATITUDE MOMENT:  Today I am grateful to fulfilling one of my life dreams, a visit to see the Taj Mahal.  But our day did not end there.  We were able to see some of the greatest examples of architectural achievement from this period.

If you would like to subscribe to our blog, just fill in your email address below. Your email address is NOT shared or made public. We would love to have you join us…

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Have a comment? Something to share? Like our blog or have a suggestion? Please leave us a message below. We value your comments and input.

About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
This entry was posted in Asia, India and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Agra ~ Taj Mahal, I’timad-ud-Daulah, Agra Fort

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s