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The Taj Mahal and killer heat

View Francis & Edward, Taste of the World on edcastano's travel map.

Sweating bullets at the Taj

Wow! The word just about sums up both the Taj Mahal and the intense summer heat in Agra. We've never sweat so much in our lives. Despite the heat, the restoration work in progress, and the decades of acid rain, the Taj did live up to the hype. It's a magnificent structure.

Instead of the 2-3 days we orginally planned, we did a day trip to Agra. With the intense heat and the swarms of touts, we are very glad we did not stay longer.

The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1630 in memory of his favorite wife, who died while giving birth to his 14th child. It is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles.



A Mosque at the side of the Taj.
Quranic script detail from the Taj
One of the four minerets at the Taj

We were quite impressed by this picture Donnaven took of us in front of the Taj. We think he has a future in photography.


The real Agra and Taj from Behind

Because of the restoration work and the crowds, we preferred the view of the Taj from behind, across the river, on the banks of a rural village. It was difficult to get there but worth the trip. It is not pictured below, but you get a good sense for what village life is like across most of India.


After all the talk of camel-dogs, Donnaven finally saw a real life camel.

The trip to the west bank of the Taj

During these times of soaring fuel prices, it's always nice to fall back to more traditional forms of transportation.

Donnaven got quite used to riding the auto rickshaws in India. The one unifying theme is that all the drivers are equally skilled at dodging cars and buses.

Posted by edcastano 01:41 Archived in India

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