Sunday, June 29, 2014

Travel: Taj Mahal

Symbol of Eternal Love - Taj Mahal in Agra, India

Wooow you guys, we finally made it onto the last post in my India series! I promise in the future I won't drag travels out this long if I can. It's been several months now (february) since I went on this magical trip with my mom. But to be honest I was kind of glad to spread it out, it made it possible to keep all these precious moments alive a lot longer. And like I announced in the very beginning, I was gonna keep the best for last: the Taj Mahal, symbol of eternal love and definitely one of the highlights of our trip! As a photographer I just live for moments where that perfect light hits a subject and that meant getting out of bed suuuper duper early. I was glad I had a sweater with me because the air was so cold. Brr, I'm freezing when I think of it again. Our guide had promised us a bright day filled with glorious sun and thus we embarked in the darkest of night still, to have light slightly tinkling in by the time we arrived outside the walls of the monument.

I was getting a bit impatient and worried that I would miss everything when we queued outside waiting for the gates to open. Luckily in India they have separate lines for women and men and as there were less women visiting, we could go in more quickly. Once inside I raced through the second gates and stood in awe of the immense beauty which before then I had only seen in so many photographs. In the minutes that I stood there I felt this eternal peace entering my mind, just fully being in the moment. The Taj was set in a magnificent morning light, the sun had not yet risen high enough, the entire building showed the most perfect white hue I'd ever seen. After quickly scanning the area I found the 'photographers' spot and as I'm small got to squeeze myself before all the big guys right in the middle to get that perfect shot. But the sunrise took like an eternity before there was any change visible on the building and I started to wonder if maybe it would have been still ok to enter 30 minutes later.

One honderd clicks and little movie stills later, I went looking for our guide and my mom who were silently laughing with my enthusiasm from afar. Like I mentioned in my Agra Fort story, the Taj was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wifi Mumtaz Mahal as a last token of his love for her. This white marble mausoleum is viewed as one of the jewel of Muslim art in India. Can any structure in the world even compare? Cool fact: it's slightly based on Humayan's Tomb which I showed you guys in this post. The inside isn't that special really, but the magnificent exterior and especially the light play that hits the marble, makes it all worth the while. If you guys ever get the change to go, do it, without doubt!

Photo's by Maya Bogaert