The Majestic Taj Mahal and Interesting Agra

The Majestic Taj Mahal and Interesting Agra | Always A Foreigner

Caren and Cazzie

Hi, We're Caren and Cazzie and we're Always A Foreigner. Welcome to our travel blog! We hope you find it useful. We love waterfalls, street eats, and anything to do with travel and adventure. We met while volunteering in India, and since then have made it our goal to travel to as many places as we can. Join us on our journey!

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The Majestic Taj Mahal and Interesting Agra

Perfect symmetry, a beautiful love story, and throngs of people….there’s nothing quite like the Majestic Taj Mahal. Agra and the world famous Taj remind me of a time and place that has long since been forgotten.  With the smell of fragrant spices lingering in the air, vendors bargaining with you in the street, and ancient architecture looming over you, you’re sure to have a whirlwind of a time in Agra.

 

History

It took 20,000 workers 22 years to build this intricate and beautiful monument. Built for an emperor’s favorite wife who sadly died in childbirth, the Taj stands in her memory. The Taj is a cultural high point for Muslims in India, and represents an era of greatness for their people.

To make the intricate patterns seen in the walls of the Taj, semi-precious stones such as jade, crystal, turquoise and amethyst were hand placed by thousands of workers. Each piece in the beautiful mosaics on the walls were ground using foot powered stone wheels, and then dyed and formed into the patterns we see today.


The Majestic Taj Mahal is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Centre, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. When you visit, you’ll be sure to realize why! The gardens and areas surrounding the Taj are almost as wonderful as the actual building. Be sure to walk around and explore. You can find the famous bench that Princess Diana sat on during her visit to the Taj, but good luck getting a picture on it as it’s always crowded. The backside of the Taj monument is located on the banks of the Yamuna river, a tributary of the Ganges. This river holds many cultural and historical praise in both Hindi and Muslim religions. The river isn’t the cleanest though, so don’t spend too much time gazing into its depths.

Tips for a Good Trip!

Arrive early!! Both the heat and the crowds can be painful. There are countless agencies in the area that offer guided tours with entrance fees included. Often times these tours may include other things as well, so choose a tour carefully. Different tours offer wildly different add-ons. It is very important to know what is included in the tour you choose before embarking. Shop around to get the best deals!

 

Often times, tours will offer to bring you to marble or jade stores in return for a reduced price on ticket fees. They generally receive commissions if you were to purchase anything. Because of this, they will bring you to many different stores along the way. Agree on how many stores you are willing to go to beforehand if you are to accept the discounted rate, but feel free to decline this offer if you’re not interested.

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  • Today has been hard. 
It started with the news that Trump has significantly reduced the amount of land in two national monuments. While I'm not from Utah, and have never been, my heart is still heavy with the news that big government and business once again triumphs over preserving land and sacred history.
Right after that, the news changed to announce renewed RNC support for Roy Moore...which just has me asking why and how our nation has come to this point. 
And then to top it all off, I got a call from the auto shop saying that my car is essentially falling apart, to the tune of an expensive repair. 
It's days like this where remembering past adventures get me through. And thinking about how someone thought to spruce up an old barn with simple paintings of sunflowers just to make the world a little brighter....that makes me feel a little better.
To whoever painted this barn on a barely used country road, I thank you. You're the reason I'm smiling today. .
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  • Every time we drive by Looking Glass Falls, we skip over it. Too many crowds, too many cars, too many other things in the area. 
This last Saturday, we drove past the parking area and to our surprise...there was absolutely no one there. 
We sat on the rocks under the falls, listening to the water crash, and enjoyed the serenity of a place so normally overrun, completely by ourselves. 
It seems that after the leaves fall from their branches, no one wants to venture outside. 
I think that's okay with me though. Because we plan on enjoying it anyways. .
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  • We might not be in our North Carolina mountains this weekend, but you better believe we're still going to #optoutside ☀️
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  • Thanksgiving week is one of my favorite weeks of the year. It's the time of year that everyone stops, takes a look around, and remembers what they have to be thankful for in life. 
It can be easy to forget those things throughout the hustle and stresses of every day life...but this week it's easy to remember. 
I'm thankful for so many things. I'm thankful for these mountains, and even more so for Cazzie, who is willing to drop everything every weekend to explore them with me. I'm thankful for friends and family, and for the kilbasa and sauerkraut that will be in abundance at my family's Thanksgiving feast. And last but not least, I'm thankful that we live in a crazy beautiful world. 
Even though thanksgiving isn't until Thursday, I think it's important to drag this feeling of thankfulness out as long as possible...because who ever said a little bit of joy inserted into our daily lives was a bad thing? .
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