No trip to India would be complete without seeing one of the eight wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. The picture above looks like an incredible palace but it is just one of the gates to the Taj Mahal 42 acre complex.
Three million people a year visit the Taj Mahal. I think half of them were there with us. Notice the lines of people and how small they are at the entrance to the building to get an idea of the immense grandeur of the Taj.
Again this is not a palace but a mausoleum built by a Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. It was was built for his favorite wife who died in childbirth after baring him 14 children. He made a vow to never marry again and the Taj was a symbol of his love for her.
Construction began in 1632 and was completed in 1648, 22,000 laborers were involved in it's construction.
The Mughals were Muslims and the inscriptions around the doors are verses from the Koran that are inlaid with black onyx carved into the marble.
The letters are much larger up high so as to give the visual illusion that they are of uniform size.
Notice the monkeys at the top of the scaffolding.
Cori and JJ
The Gs, Grant and Grace
Sunrise view from across the Yamuna River
While in Agra we stopped in a shop where they are trying to keep alive the art of engraving colored stones into the white marble. This is the same technique used to decorate the Taj Mahal. Their show room was pretty amazing. All carved in marble. We had to take a little something home.