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Home India Archive for category "Taj Mahal"
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Overnight Train Mathura (Agra) to Mumbai

Published on October 27, 2006, by in Agra, India, Mumbai, Taj Mahal, Trains.

By now, my fantasy of  “Overnight Train to x x x ” has been exposed as poor romance, frustrating adventure and less than ideal transportation. Guess what? The overnight train from Mathura Junction to Mumbai reset the template. From the moment of arrival on the platform at the Mathura Station, to getting down on the platform in Mumbai Central, it was the train ride I’d been anticipating but didn’t find between Delhi and Varanasi – or between Varanasi and Agra.

 
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Painting with Light – Part 3

Published on October 25, 2006, by in Agra, India, Taj Mahal.

Shoes must be removed before going up the narrow marble stairs to the plaza and into the dome. The quiet intimacy of the past half-hour is rapidly dissipating as more and more people arrive. Now the shaded areas outside the perimeter of the plaza are attracting photographers seeking the right angle to capture the color. Examine the two last photos above. They are closeups from one of the larger pix further above. The spots of color are polished jewels set into the marble shell. In the low rays of the early morning sun, when you are in the same visual

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Painting with Light – Part 2

Published on October 25, 2006, by in Agra, India, Taj Mahal.

Now the sun is rising, just clearing the line of trees to the east, sliding from behind one of the corner minarets. The richness of its palate is revealed. The warmth of the sun is displayed across the eastern surfaces of the monument in appropriately butter-bright shades of yellow. Click on the photos.

 
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Painting with Light – Part 1

Published on October 25, 2006, by in Agra, India, Taj Mahal.

Understand up front that I’m not going to fudge on my resolution to avoid adjectives to describe the Taj Mahal. But the photos in the mini-album embedded in this post deserve explaining. At times I may need a “word that describes a quality of a thing” to clarify what’s in those pix. Sometimes I’ll need to modify something in the experience, other than the building itself. The genius and artistry of the Taj Mahal is not limited to placement, form and scale. The masterful exploitation of light, within and without the tomb, raises the site to a level not seen,

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Dawn at the Taj Mahal

Published on October 25, 2006, by in Agra, India, Taj Mahal.

I was the first person at the ticket window when it opened at 6am. Once inside the gate I lingered briefly along the pathway to the portal that frames the Taj Mahal itself. I wanted a little more light before I encountered the view. Birds in the trees that lined the tiled path were warbling musically to each other. The air was calm. The heat of the day had not yet intruded. A fountain splashed water on the flowers at its base. As I passed through the portal, I saw a couple who had preceded me by a few minutes.

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The Taj Mahal – Late Afternoon Album #1

Published on October 24, 2006, by in India, Taj Mahal.

After a nap, a great hot shower, fresh clothes and an excellent sandwich in the garden of the amzingly cheap and cheerfully green garden of the Guest House, I climbed into the back of a three-wheeler and roared off to see the Taj Mahal before it closed at 6pm.   The authorities have wisely banned motor vehicle traffic at a point some 200 or so yards short of the western gate to the grounds. This not only cuts down on the air pollution and motor noise, but it requires that tourists walk the narrow street lined with souvenier shops and

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The Ineffable Taj Mahal

Published on October 24, 2006, by in Agra, India, Mark Twain, Taj Mahal.

I’m not going to try to describe the Taj Mahal. To do so is impossible. Far better writers than me have said so. Confronted with it at dawn, and then at sunset, and again in the moonlight, Mark Twain declined to describe the monument except in an oblique way. The handful of pages he devotes to the Taj Mahal include the most candid passages he ever wrote about the limits of his skills.

 
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