Visiting the Taj Mahal the Special Indian Way

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This passed weekend, my relatives took me to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. They gave me the royal treatment! First they hired a professional photographer to take pictures of me (and all of the family members). The got a few cute photos and then even one of me looking as if I were holding he top of the Taj. This is a very popular pose for Indian tourists.

Ekta did not come on this trip, but Sudhaphoi’s four year old granddaughter, Akanksha, came.

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Here is a shot of Anilkaka and a shot of Samta:

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The Taj Mahal is both beautiful and romantic. For those of you who do not know, the Taj is actually a mausoleum for ShahJahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal. He was heartbroken when she dies, so he had this beautiful complex built in her honor. It is completely made of marble with inlay of lapis and other precious stones.

This is a shot from inside one of the two mosques in the complex, my favorite shot.

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Then we went to Mathura and visited two temples to Krishna. Mathura is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The day started to take a turn for me when we got to Mathura. At the first temple, a very beautiful and peaceful temple complex, I fell in the bathroom. It was pretty disgusting, because I fell flat on my back onto the wet bathroom floor. God knows what was on that floor. I hurt my elbow, bruising it and cutting it. It that moment, I was suddenly overcome with how foreign I felt. I felt like everyone was looking at the white girl who can’t even walk. Clearly, I am very odd to Indians — sometimes inspiring curiosity, other times inspiring disdain. Often, I am very aware of how bizarre I am to people around me. Most of the time, I am perfectly fine with it, but in this moment, it completely overwhelmed me. It got better as I went through the temple, but I was getting tired, and my cold seemed to be worsening. We went to another temple to make an offering just in time before they closed the entrance to see Krishna. Then we were in the marketplace.

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We shopped for a bit, and I was getting increasingly tired. After a bit, we got in the car to come home. We stopped for dinner, but I was not hungry because I just wasn’t feeling well. I’d developed a cough and a sore throat. Finally, after being stuck in traffic, we got home at about 1:30AM. It was a very long day.

Again, I had another wonderful time with my relatives. They were so kind and generous to me, and I really appreciated everything they did for me. When I fell, they were very worried I had hurt myself. And they suggested several remedies for my cold.

I had a good long sleep, and I felt a little better the next day. That day, I went with Lesa’s family to have lunch with a Canadian family in Khan Market. We went to a place that serves western food. And today, I went shopping at the state emporiums and got lots of gifts for people back home. Feeling better today, but still on the mend.

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