the taj mahal : one of the wonders of the world

the taj mahal : one of the wonders of the world
when visiting india, you obviously can’t miss the
.. taj mahal .. 
india is a huge country and agra is a bit out
of the way, but if you’re all the way over there it’s
worth making the effort to go see one of the wonders
of the world. we visited the taj at the end of our trip
 on thanksgiving daywhich ended up being memorable 
and very fitting. as we walked around the grounds, took
ten million pictures, toured the inside, took more pictures,
studied the marble, and watched it glow so gorgeously into
 the sunset, i think we were both filled with lots of gratitude
 for this beautiful, amazing world and the chance to see it 
together. it’s a thanksgiving day i’ll never forget.

we made it!!!!!!

^^ when you walk through the gate {after intense security
and a sketchy shuttle ride} the taj suddenly appears out
of nowhere. you can see in the picture above on the right
through the gate – it truly stops you in your tracks as you 
take it in. we stood in the gate entry frozen, just staring at
it before being pushed along. it’s truly awe-inspiring.

the two things that are different about it: i don’t know
how, but it looks a lot larger in real life than in pictures.
partly because there’s hardly anything around it, and
part because it IS huge! most people take the classic
picture way down from it by the entrance, so in scale
you can’t see how big it is. in real life, you can. 

the other thing i didn’t expect: it glows. india has some
haze, but at the taj the air and sky seem to outline it
and the whiteness of it glows. there is a tangible
feel there of just peace and beauty and everyone
respects the area. even though when you go close
up or inside you can see all the patterns and designs
on it, from far away it glows white and it’s breathtaking.

now that you’ve heard me go on about how amazing
it was, here is some history + some pictures.

the taj mahal “crown palace” was built by the emperor
shah jahan in memory of his wife. when she died during the 
19th year of their marriage, he etched her story in stone. 
the taj is the living symbol of their love and what’s a 
better monument than that? it’s sometimes referred
to as the “palace of love” because it was such a strong
declaration of love and romance. it’s truly one of the 
world’s masterpieces & i was glad to be there with my love!

i spy the taj! :) i was pretty impressed with myself
for this reflection picture haha – i love it!

^^ along with it being a beautiful place, there were also
so many beautiful people there. i could not get over
the beauty of this little one…those eyes! she stared at
us for ten minutes (probably wondering about our 
weird light hair! :) while we chatted with the parents
and i took sooo many photos of her. i will remember this
little face forever. surprised i didn’t try to bring her home!

i’m telling you, we had to get pictures from all the
different viewpoints. haha – you’re only there once!

^^ up close and personal — you can see all the detail
^^ walking inside of the taj mahal was a pretty amazing
moment. you have to put shoe covers on to go inside,
and then you can walk all through it and right up by it.
as we were inside i looked at chase and said – “we are
INSIDE the taj mahal right now!!!” what? i love those
moments. as we walked outside of it and onto the back
view of the river, cute chase handed me a little thanksgiving
love note that i will keep & remember forever and ever.
even though we were having the adventure of a lifetime
and standing at a wonder of the world, he said he wanted
to make sure i knew he didn’t forget thanksgiving and 
gave me the sweetest letter that of course made me cry
standing right outside the taj mahal. everyone stared at us
but it was the sweetest and something i never want to forget.

^^ for some reason we got asked by so many 
people to take pictures with them here! our 
blonde hair made it so this happened through
the trip, but here it was especially often and we
laughed so hard thinking – what is anyone going to
do with these? loved all the sweet people though!

^^ jumping pictures + selfies. 
could we BE any more cliché?

^^ oh with a kissing picture. yep we could be more cliché :)
ask me if i care!

^^ a little gif of the jumping picture {we had to!}

i love walking through the world with him ^^

and, back outside the main gate. ^^
we loved the taj so much. what a memory.
early on our final morning in india chase
woke up and took a cab back here to see
it at sunrise and snapped these photos
{plus some copter footage}. 
^^ that taj is pretty majestic in any light!
this wraps up our india trip…
one more post coming friday with our video
that i’m most excited to share! it really takes
you to india so i can’t wait to post it.