I don’t know about you, but I like this picture. This is my second trip to the Taj. I went once by myself. I then went on a guided tour. It was a little pricey to go both days, but what the heck, I’m a big-spender. Tickets to Taj cost foreigners about $17 a day. They cost Indians less than 50 cents. I’m not sure how the Indian government justifies this, but I guess they don’t have to, do they?
It’s a palace, a village and a good story. The white marble structure behind me is the tomb of a holy man. He helped a great king of a great dynasty perpetuate history as we know it. How, and what resulted from the relationship between the holy man that once lived in a cave and the king of a great empire, is the story of Fatehpur Sikri.
This, I can never get used to. This picture is one that is all-too-common in India. Here, you can see a big heap of trash and some animals. Most of the time there are no Indians in the picture. I’m really not sure what this guy is doing. When I take a picture of some guy in a garbage dump, I try not to linger. Animals in garbage dumps is not uncommon in India. However, to put the whole thing in some perspective for my western friends, it is important to understand a couple of things. First, in India, the lives of animals are much the same as the lives of humans. That’s why the vast, vast majority of Hindus are vegetarians. Second, it is important to support our animal friends by giving them the refuse that we don’t want, especially cows, which are, for Hindus, sacred. It’s something like having a pet, but on a higher social order. All animals are our friends (pets) and we should help them. Best way to help them? Feed them our garbage. It’s like feeding Fido under the table when dad wasn’t watching. At this point, however, the whole thing starts getting a little murky as the results of the logic are piles and piles of garbage everywhere and loose animals feeding in them. But, if the Indians don’t have a problem with it, why should I? It’s their country, isn’t it?
This picture is of a view of the Taj Mahal from the King’s quarters in Agra Fort. The actual view is much better than any picture can ever make it out to be. There are some things in this world that should be experienced in person, no matter how good the photograph appears to be. The Taj Mahal is one of them.
Monkeys run loose all over India, like a lot of other animals. The local population supports them with chips, cookies, fruits and other items. The monkeys pictured here are taking apart a bag of chips in Agra Fort. Some people like to feed the monkeys from their hands. I don’t feed monkeys, at least not very often. The monkeys seem to do quite well without me.
Agra Fort is a World heritage Monument. That’s a UNESCO plaque in the picture.
It is beautiful, isn’t it?
This is the view from the back of the Taj.
The Taj Mahal has 3 gates for entry and exit. Most people use the south gate as it leads directly into Tag Ganj, the area of hotels adjacent to the Taj Mahal.