The Taj Mahal is all the superlatives you’d expect. Exquisite, spectacular, beautiful, the teardrop on the face of Eternity, the vestibule to the Hallways of Always, the white chocolate on the pillow of the Hotel California.
I’ve heard people say “It’s smaller than you’d expect”. I disagree. It’s the biggest mausoleum I’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen quite a few now. Grand doesn’t begin to describe it. White marble, towers, onion domes… the few bits of scaffolding don’t even spoil the view. At every turn, there’s a beautiful picture to take, and forty people taking it.
It looks like a picture even when you’re really standing in front of it. A photoshopped picture. It makes you want to go up and squint at it to try and find a flaw in the pixels. I didn’t find any.
Sure it costs a lot (for India) at INR 1000 ($20 CAD) per person. Yes there are too dang many people there. It’s still worth it.
You know that feeling when you lean your chair back a little too far and it’s about to tip over? I got that feeling a little in the pit of my stomach when I saw the place.
These days the front’s not even the best shot, because of the scaffolding. Go around the back, or take funky angle shots.
Visitors are allowed inside the Taj Mahal, but are not allowed to take pictures. Some people snap covert pictures when the guards are distracted by cute foreign children. We were too busy trying to control the cute foreign children.
Once you get out the back door, the urgency wears off and people sit down in the shade. Lots of people. We experienced another “selfie-storm” like at the Mysore Palace.
We suffered through the photos for a while, until some woman picked up the Chica and tried to walk away with her. That did not go well for anyone.
After a while things calmed down and friends were made, bonds were formed.
The best view of all is from the back, on the other side of the river. There’s a park there called Mehtab Bagh.
It costs about INR 400 ($8 CAD) round trip in a rickshaw from the front of the Taj. The park costs another INR 200 per person to get in (foreigner price). Be aware that you cannot bring food into the park, so don’t bother buying snacks at the kiosks on the way in.
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