India blog 01/15
Lyndsi Schwichtenberg, Larissa Milne
We arrived in Delhi early this morning after our second trip on a night train. We checked into our YMCA hostel for breakfast, but then loaded a bus for a 4 hour trip to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Definitely a must see when traveling around India! We were able to take the typical tourist pictures outside of the Taj, but we also had a your guide who was able to teach us the history of this world wonder. The beauty of the Taj Mahal is indescribable, and pictures don’t even come close to capturing it. We learned that this monument took 22 years to build out of hand carved marble that was hauled in by elephants. Even knowing those few things makes it that much more amazing. There is a line through the gardens outside, along with the Taj Mahal itself, that divides everything in half and both sides are symmetrical. The gardens are symmetrical, the towers and various structures are symmetrical, all except for the tombs of the King and Queen inside. We weren’t allowed to take pictures or even wear our shoes inside of the Taj, but the architecture was even more phenomenal there. We rode in carriages pulled by camels back to the bus and then visited the tomb of Etimad-ud-daula, which was beautiful, yet couldn’t even compare to the Taj Mahal. After that we had our 4 hour return trip to the YMCA hostel where everyone proceeded to collapse of exhaustion following such a busy day.