We make our way to the Taj Mahal today early, to experience the sun rise when the gardens awake, before the crowds stream in. We approach from the West gate, make our way through the inside gardens, walk through the main gate. We are greeted by her majesty, still kept at a distance...
Breathtakingly stunning, the Taj allows a gradual approach, the water reflecting pools, the fountains, aqua surrounded by white marble, someone even turned on the fountains, (this is only done occasionally I am told by our guide).
The water shoots up in the air, dancing, describing circles, then falling with thick drops. It sparkles like precious stones in the soft morning light.
The faint fragrance of tuber rose lining the gardens is in the air. I close my eyes and inhale the fragrance. The gardens awake. The all over impact is complete. We are awed.
The water of the fountain head sparkling in the morning sun.
We approach closer, we sit on the white marble benches in front of and behind the fountains, have our pictures taken.
Then we approach further, have another picture taken on the same marble bench that Jackie Kennedy in her perfect linen shift dress in dark green and blue colors had her picture taken.
more information: photo credit: Rex, photographer: unkown
Kevin and me
I think about Diana, Princess of Wales, who sat on this bench and had her picture taken. (Sorry, I cannot post this picture at this time). Sitting on that bench I remembered the picture of the Princess, sitting on the same bench smiling into the camera yet alone, with a heavy heart.
I had the great fortune to have my picture taken with my love, Kevin, sitting beside me. I savored the moment, felt connected to both, through the sameness of the moment in time and setting.
Later, I found a picture of the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, just after having seen the Taj Mahal, walking along the fountains during their visit to India in the 1950s.(Sorry, I cannot post this picture at this time)
Looking at that picture I cannot help but think what a different time. Walking steps away from her husband, surrounded by officials, both reserved and guarded, I am glad we can be more relaxed.
We walk along the fountains, climb up the steps to the platform, rest a moment take in the view, look up at the carvings in the white marble, we are silent.
The white marble glistens in the sun light.
Flower inlay detail at the Taj Mahal.
The intricate carvings surround us.
We now approach the inner sanctum where a representation of the coffins of Shah Jihan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal lay.
The inner sanctuma at the Taj Mahal.
We step out from the dark and cool interior, on the northern side, overlooking the river and the embankment, where we had glimpsed the Taj the evening before. The sun in now bright on the horizon and the tiles and stones, the inlaid flower shapes all glisten in the sun light.
We are captured by the moment.
See the detail, even the rail post top is in the shape of a carved flower!
All over the exterior of the Taj Mahal we can see the Taj ornaments, the distinctive flower patterns of Agra, either carved or inlays with stones of other colors, we also find them in small stone carved objects for sale in shops, and painted on doorways of hotels.
Later, we are taken back to the hotel.
In the afternoon we go back to our hotel. Our hotel room is very comfortable and beautiful, it has a Saffron color theme and dark wood, beautiful carvings on the headboard.