Every now and then an image stands up and shouts at you!
Some of you know that I traveled to India for the first time last year.
I have to say, of all the locations I have ever traveled to, my experience in India was the most overwhelming of them all.
India is now the fourth-largest economy behind the US, China and Japan and was set to overtake Japan for its position in late 2011. Economic reforms have transformed it into the second fastest growing large economy; however, it still suffers from high levels of poverty, illiteracy, malnutrition and environmental degradation.
I recently put together a collection of 4 images of my impressions of India. This is the 2nd in that series published to this blog, and to me, the most profound.
Seen as a symbol of enduring love, the Taj Mahal was built as a dedication to Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Shah Jahan.
This monument took 22 years to build and with some 20,000 workers it was completed in 1653. It is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We got up long before dawn to make the combined bus/horse cart ride to the monument and along with the hundreds of others that gathered very quickly in the cover of darkness we waited patiently for the gates to open.
Open from dawn to dusk every day except Fridays the atmosphere was electric. I’m sure it wasn’t just our group that felt that way. I could see it on the faces of others as we all stood in queue.
Once inside the gates people seemed to be everywhere at once. Being in November, there was a morning haze to be burned off as the sun rose lazily in the sky but the haze produced the most wonderful soft light. The iconic structure looks impressive in this image however it’s even more impressive up close.
As you walk around the grounds and never lose sight of this marble palace you imagine you can hear the whispers of thousands before you doing exactly the same thing.
It is located in Agra, part of India’s golden triangle.
Please visit. It will be a life changing experience.