Thursday, September 23, 2010

That Big Mausoleum in Agra

The Taj Majal. One of the most recognizable structures in the world. Considered by many to be the most beautiful building ever built. VERY high on my list of things I was excited to see on this trip.

They say sunrise is a particularly magical time to visit the Taj. Bathed in golden, early morning light, it promised to be a breathtaking sight. We rose at 5:00am for the short walk to the west gate entrance. Still dark out, we could not tell what a grey, overcast day lie ahead. It began to get light while we were still lined up for our tickets. It also began to drizzle.

I was devastated, and faced with two options:
1) Go in now and hope it gets better / risk it getting worse.
2) Wait till tomorrow day and hope it gets better / risk it getting worse.

The decision weighed heavily on me and Reece didn't have a preference either way. I followed my gut and we walked back to our hotel, tails between our legs, and went back to bed. The rest of the day brought torrential downpours. Good decision.

Another disgustingly early morning. More grey skies. Some said the rain was coming to an end. Some said it was just getting started. I didn't know how many days I was willing to waste waiting for sunshine. So, we considered ourselves lucky that it wasn't physically raining, and bit the bullet.

Maybe now is a good time for a drum roll? Here it is. The TAJ MAHAL.

Are you blown away? Has your breath been taken?? Mine wasn't.

I've learned that these world renowned, highly anticipated sites seem to fall into two categories. Those that absolutely floor you the moment you lay eyes on them. And those that make you think, "Well, yeah, it pretty much looks like it does in the postcards". I REALLY wanted to feel more. But the gloomy skies put a huge damper on what could have been a much more marvelous moment.

We walked around. We took a bunch of pictures. We sat and soaked it in. Eventually, the time came for us to wrap it up and go eat some breakfast.

Just as we were leaving, the clouds parted and a brilliant sun shone through! My goodness, what a difference it made. I was so, SO happy. Reece leapt for joy. We finally captured the photos we were hoping for, and I could not have been more satisfied with the experience.

I bring you, the New and Improved Taj Majal!!

Of course, the following few days were perfectly sunny and glorious from sun-up to sun-down. Don't get me started.

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