Thursday, May 23, 2013

Agra: The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort

Of course, we went t the Taj Mahal in Agra.  The Taj was built by the emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.  It took 22 years to build and was finished in 1653.  The photos above and below are of one of the gates to the grounds.  The gates give you a preview of what you will see on the monument itself: inlay of semi-precious stones, intricate stone carving, painted walls and ceilings, and inlay text from the Koran.

Here's the first glimpse of the Taj from the gate.  All the awestruck stop to take photos before approaching the monument itself.

Here I am with my friend Pat.  

There are temples to each side of the monument.  The four towers are 141 feet tall.

Looking back at one of the gates.

This is the back side of the Taj, which is right on the Yamuna River.

Later in the day we visited Agra Fort.  This was the palace, fort and town of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan.  Agra was the Mughal capital during the 16th and 17th centuries.  Agra Fort was originally built by Akbar between 1565 and 1573. 

Shah Jahan was imprisoned here in his own palace by his son Aurangzeb, and spent the last years of his life in his quarters with this view of the Taj Mahal.

Later we boarded the train headed to Khajuraho.  At the train station:

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