Warning: Prepare yourself for photo overload over the next couple of posts.
The day had finally arrived for me to visit the Taj Mahal and to say that I was excited would be a gigantic understatement! There are many reasons why one could be completely enamored by it; one could love history or architecture or crazy romantic gestures, I however loved the fact that two decades ago my father had been to see it. I am blessed with extraordinary parents, but sadly they do not travel, nor do they understand my insatiable desire to see the world. At times I find it incredibly frustrating to not be able to connect with them on this level since it is an essential part of who I am. Thus, knowing that I was finally given the rare opportunity to walk in the footsteps of my father in such a meaningful place was incredibly sacred to me. He was definitely in my thoughts on this day.
My father had come to India for business matters and his guide told him that during his free time he must visit several places, one being the Taj Mahal. I remember as a little girl looking at the exotic photos from his trip in awe. There were pictures of him riding elephants and feeding monkeys in the streets, as well as barely fitting inside the monuments since he is 6’6″. Of course, the photos that most captivated me were the ones of him at the Taj Mahal. They left such an impression on my young heart.
There are actually many ways one can get to the entrance of the Taj Mahal, here is another mode of transportation:
You can also walk or take a tram. If you choose to walk, it is about a ten minute stroll from the main gate. I would have preferred to walk, although the tour I was on wanted us all to arrive at the same time and the rest of my group had decided upon taking the tram. Before actually entering the grounds of the Taj Mahal, there are some awesome photo opportunities, so do not be in too much of a rush to see the white palace.
I would not consider the following photo to be an “awesome photo opportunity,” more like an example of India’s dichotomy that I constantly witnessed. That is, the mixture of such overwhelming beauty with such heartbreaking sadness. I know this dichotomy exists everywhere, but I had yet to encounter it on such a grand scale before.
I was already beyond excited, but when I had my first sighting of the Taj Mahal I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest!
Surrounding the Taj Mahal is another architectural wonder in itself. The amber color of it against the white of the Taj Mahal is the perfect color combination. In fact, that is one of my favorite things about India, the colors.
The month leading up to my journey to India happened to be one of the most stressful months in my life to date. I very much wanted to return home having let go of the lingering stress that I was holding on to and I thought what better place to do that in than here? So, before I walked through the arches that were separating me from the Taj Mahal I said a silent prayer to the Universe as I took a couple of deep breaths. And then, I walked through the arches letting go of the past and welcoming the present. . .