In September and October I did some work in India for my client Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO). I was in Ahmedabad for a week working with WIEGO’s partner, Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), and another week in Pune with Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), which left me with one week of exploring, that included visits to Nal Sarovar, a bird sanctuary outside Ahmedabad, and the Taj Mahal in Agra… the whole trip was an experience of a lifetime that has left me with wonderful memories of the places I saw and more importantly the people I met and worked with!
Once the business side of my trip was all organized I arranged my schedule so that I could visit the Taj Mahal before I returned home, and – on the day of a full moon! I had read that the temple changes colour throughout the day depending on the light, early morning, mid day, and sunset, and if you can go on a full moon, it gives you one more incredible sight than most visitors don’t see.
After I finished my work in Pune, I flew to New Delhi where I toured around for a day and the following day I caught an early morning train that got me in to Agra by 8 a.m., a 2 hour trip, which is much better than the regular 4-5 hour trip throughout most of the day. In spite of my planning and early arrival, though, and much to my disappointment the Taj was closed due to a private visit from the President of Vietnam. So I spent most of the morning wandering around Agra. Once we were allowed to enter the Taj, it was early afternoon and there was quite a backlog of visitors, so due to time constraints and lineups I was not able to go inside the Taj itself and only visited the grounds. Later in the day I hired a driver to take me across the river to get some more photos of the Taj while the sun set and under a full moon… sadly, the sunset was not that great and the full moon was not visible due to cloud cover! Next time!… and there must be a next time, so I can see the inside of this building that Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore described as “the tear-drop on the cheek of time”!
The photos in the slide show below cannot convey the experience of seeing this incredibly beautiful temple… the way it is walled in, you don’t get a good look at it when you first arrive…. and even when you do walk on to the grounds you can’t see the whole building until you pass through the main gate, The Taj Ganji, and then the Taj Mahal is slowly revealed to you… watch the slide show and you’ll see exactly what I mean. Through my photos you’ll take the train to Agra, you’ll see the palace from the roof of my Hotel, and wander the streets of Agra until we finally pass through the gate and see this building that was declared the winner of the “New 7 Wonders of the World”. If you stick with me, there’s over a hundred photos in this set, I’ll take you across the Yamuna River to visit Mehtab Bagh ‘moonlight garden’, a beautiful garden where you’ll see the Taj Mahal as the sun goes down. As a Photographer and a student of Architecture this was an incredible experience I will never forget. I hope you enjoy these photos.
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