Monday, November 21, 2011

Getting There in One Piece?

Today was dedicated to the Indian National Monument, the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world.  I assume you know that the Taj Mahal is a huge building by a river, made entirely out of marble, built in the beginning of the 17th century.  The Moghul king of the area at the time built the structure for his wife as a mausoleum after she died.  He spent so much money building the Taj Mahal, he was finally ousted by his son when he suggested building a black palace on the other side of the river for himself.   

Ivan, Dad, and Andrew left early in the morning to see the sun rise on the Taj Mahal, but Mom and I waited until the afternoon to visit.  An Indian doctor from the Rally for Health team set up a driver to drive us there and back.  I was extremely pleased that we were able to ride in a car instead of a rickshaw!   After a nice, relaxing car ride that protected us from the chaos outside, we walked through crowds of locals and tourists and came to a gate leading to another gate leading to the Taj Mahal. 

We bought a ticket at the first gate and proceeded through to the second.  Each gate had several small domes on the top and were quite beautiful.  We were absolutely amazed when we passed the second gate.  There, about 500 meters away was an amazing huge and beautiful sight: a spectacular marble mass crafted into a stunning palatial building.  Around the building was a rectangular platform also made of marble.  On each corner of the platform there were big towers.  The main building had a huge dome top around which were four look outs.  We walked passed long pools of water to get to the amazing marble art.  Wow!  We entered through a huge archway into a large dark circular room.  In the center of the room, there was a marble fence around two fairly large marble boxes. I suspect this is where the king’s wife’s remains are located.  We were not allowed to take pictures inside, but I managed to pull a couple good shots off.  Hey, it’s my job! 

Around the inner room, there was a circular walk way leading around the Taj Mahal.  Mom and I left the inside and walked back to the two gates that we entered to get to the giant beautiful marble structure.  After looking at the Taj Mahal, Mom and I ate some lunch on a rooftop restaurant.

The plan for tonight was to travel to Farrukhabad, and host a clinic tomorrow.  Originally, we planned to take a train leaving at one or two in the morning from Agra.  We thought it would be a better plan to just rent some cars and drive there.  We rented three SUVs with drivers and left the hotel tonight in the thick fog.  We were anticipating a 5 hour drive.  We journeyed through mist and haze and have found ourselves in the middle of nowhere in some big industrial area with tons of trucks and towns that we cannot see due to the annoying fog.  While I am writing this, one of our cars has broken down and the team is weighing the possibilities.  We are trying to take the people and luggage in the broken down car and disburse it through out the other cars.  It’s 1AM and we’ve gone about 50 km out of the 150km.   Anyway, I am trying to keep a big smile on my face and I will tell you how this all works out tomorrow!
Thank you for reading Rohan Geographic!  


  1. How wonderful to visit the Taj Mahal - one of the 7 wonders of the world. I have always wanted to see the Taj Mahal, but not to go through what it would take to get myself there! I'm content, and fortunate, to have seen and done all I have in my life.
    Keep smiling. I look forward to hearing tomorrow just how you all survive this latest impediment!
    Love, Grandma doris

  2. Got to go with the flow.....

    Really like the photo of the inside of the Taj with the marble wall and window high above it.

  3. Grandma Doris,
    I can not say how we survived this time, you will have to read the next blog!

    I also love that picture. I was fighting low light and guards telling me to take no photos!


  4. Hi Rohan - Agra is a very common word in the crossword puzzles! Now I have some visuals to go with it. Thanks for all of your writing. Thinking of you daily. Tell your Dad that a package finally arrived for me from China, I think it was. Haven't opened it yet! Love, Grandmalish