Retroblog – Taj Mahal

Worth visiting again and again.

Our family visited the Taj Majal twelve years ago this spring; after that 2009 visit I wrote “Taj is, quite simply, stunningly beautiful, exquisitely crafted, and a marvel of engineering and art.” Portions were under renovation at the time, so I was excited to return in 2017, as part of Dartmouth’s Mystical India tour. On that day we enjoyed blue skies and a fully-open site. Visit both posts for more info and more photos!

2009 Family photo at the Taj Mahal! David, Pam, John, Mara, Andy.

Mystical India

Two lovely weeks touring northern India with Dartmouth Alumni Travel. Magical! More stories, and photos, in this blog post.

I’ve just returned from India, where Pam and I had the opportunity to host a Dartmouth Alumni Travel group for a two-week tour of the history, architecture, culture, and arts of northern India.   We joined a wonderful group of 12 interesting individuals, and an outstanding tour guide from Odysseys Unlimited, for a bustling tour of Delhi, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Agra, and Varanasi.  I think what struck me most about the agenda was its fascinating mix of the sights (palaces, temples, mosques, etc.) with the culture (villages, markets, families. religion) and arts (dance, music, weaving, pottery, jewelry, stonework, carpets, and even paper).  Read on for a summary of our journey, and for a sampling of the many photos!

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Taj Mahal

Overwhelmingly impressive, stunningly beautiful.

Everyone has seen the canonical photos of the Taj Mahal, all beautiful, but none of them really prepare you for the experience of visiting the place yourself.  The Taj is, quite simply, stunningly beautiful, exquisitely crafted, and a marvel of engineering and art, nearly 400 years old. It is made entirely of white marble, exquisitely carved and inlaid with semi-precious stones.  All of the colors and design work you can see (up close) are inlay, not paint.  Even the arabic letters conveying quotes from the Koran are inlaid stone. Read on!

Family photo at the Taj Mahal! Mara, Pam, John, David, Andy.
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