Namaste and good morning. We took a horse drawn carriage to the Taj Mahal this morning.
It is a peaceful setting. Early morning and the haze is lifting. Revealing blue skies. Sweet birds singing in the huge green tree coverings. White marble stones make up the mighty Taj. No lighting allowed within the palace.
Cover our feet in white cloth to enter the palace and burial site of once emperor and his beloved wife. He was emperor for thirty years. She was his third and last wife. They had 14 children, 7 died in infancy and she died giving birth to the last. 4 boys and 3 girls survived. Later the youngest son killed his elder brothers and took over as emperor, imprisoning his father for his last 8 years of his father’s life. The daughters also lived in the palace at red fort and cared for their father, where he was kept captive.
Marble inlaid with semi precious stones, jade, carnelian and others. Malachite, topaz, jasper, lapis lazuli, turquoise, … many imported from different places in the world.
Stunning sight. Beyond words. White marble bricks inlaid with mother of pearl so on full moon, like tonight … It glows at night. The Emperor could see this tribute to his wife from his home at Red Fort.
Next stop marble art studio to show how Taj Mahal was made in delicate detail. This art is only done by artisans direct descendants of the original and only in Agra. Beautiful marble items in exquisite detail, inlaid with precious stones.
Then we went to the red Fort, size over 2.5 kms. Largest fort in India. Royal stories. Still used by army. Beautiful courtyard and gardens, Indian unique beveled archways. Preserved in time and red sandstone. Great dynasties have lived here and met with their own people in central place for Public audience. White marble structure is private mosque for the Royals.
Peacock is national bird of India. We have seen them wild and in marble. Also great elephants in this land are revered. Stories of Royals and elephants … Elephants carved in marble … All very interesting. In this country also are tigers and lions. Very exotic.
We had a catered authentic Indian lunch and listened to a performer playing stringed sitar. Then we returned to the beautiful upscale Trident hotel.