What shall I do to remember you by? asked the emperor of India his unquestionable love of his life, who was dying. Make something that everyone who sees it, will never forget, she said. So he did with the help of an Teheran architect. And he well succeeded.
400 years later, breathless I was for a moment after I went through the dark south gate and saw her in early morning glory. Taj Mahal. One of the three world sights on my short list. Waited 15 years after my first visit to India when I missed her because of a bacterial illness. Getting through the busy confusing transport trouble of India. It’s all very worth it!
I booked a train ticket Delhi – Agra on line in Holland. The fast train left at 6 am and arrived at 8. There was some sort of breakfast included in the ticket price. Tasty. At the railway station of Agra some guides approached me offering their service. Not offensive I must say. Big difference with my earlier experiences. Outside the station there is a taxi booth with fixed prices. 150 rupees to take you to the Taj, 550 for a five hour guide with driver. The Taj is beautiful to watch at a distance, but also the details inside are nice to look at. White marble inlaid with semi precious stones, glittering in the sunlight. And inside the dome are the tombs of the king and queen. A wooden stairway down for the remains. During the build the body of the queen was kept in salt for many years. Years later the king was sent to prison by his son, at the Agra ford with a view on the Taj. The story goes that the son was worried about his dad who wanted to make a new Taj in black color on the river opposite of the Taj.