Photographer's Note

What can I say about the Taj Mahal that hasn't already been said? How can I show this monument of love the way it has already not been shown?

The Taj was completed in 1659 after 22 years of work by 20,000 artisans. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Nobel-prize-winning Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) once described the Taj Mahal as "an eternal teardrop on the cheek of time."

Coming back from Fatehpur Sikri, it was already past 4.30 in the evening & rushed to Taj Mahal, not knowing that the gate closed for visitors at 4.45 pm., approximately 10-15 minutes before sunset. With my hopes dashed of getting a proper glimpse at the main attraction of Agra (though from our Hotel we could clearly see the dome of the Taj), I hurried along the path leading east along the boundary wall of the Taj , towards the River Yamuna. Security was high & it was ironic to see machine gun wielding soldiers guarding the symbol of love, it being a top terrorist target, I gathered.

The ghat behind the Taj Mahal was littered with trash. As I weaved through the littered plastic bags, flowers, clothes, to edge to the water, I understood that this ghat was used for occasional cremation activity, which explained the remains of the clothes, flowers & the plastic. This is the view from behind the Taj, from the East side of the monument against the post-sunset sky.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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