The Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra. The Taj Mahal is the best example of a Mughal building, but the city Agra has a lot to offer a traveler in addition to the Taj Mahal. The Mughal rulers created spectacular buildings that even a fort or prison could take your breath away. I enjoyed my time in India and just like Shah Jahan having a strong love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, I have an even stronger love for my mommy. I took my mommy with me to India and one of my favorite days with her was when we visited the Taj Mahal. Actually, it was the night before we went that was a lot of fun too! We went shopping at a store next to our hotel to buy special clothes to wear to the monument and while shopping the owner of the store to a liking to me and asked my mother how much he could pay her to keep me in India with him. She immediately responded that I must return to NY with her! Although the offer was for a lot of rupees and I was flattered. The shopping excursion was hilarious. I remember trying on many different outfits and changing in a closet and having the other travelers in the store help me to pick my beautiful turquoise tunic. When I wear my special top here at home I always feel a little more special that day. I like to wear it on the day I start teaching my students about the Mughal Empire. It is one of my favorite topics in history to teach about. It is fascinating that most of the visuals I use in my classroom come from my travels. I always tell the kids when I use pictures from the Internet because I have not visited a specific place such as Russia or Iran or Ghana, but those places are on my list for future travel.
The following day in the morning we visited Agra Fort, had lunch, got henna tattoos on our hands and then headed to the Taj Mahal. It was unbelievable. My wonderful guide brought us at a perfect time to witness a variety of lighting on the beautiful structure. I saw the bright shining sunlight and the calmness of the sunset and each minute you stare you just never want to stop looking at it. You experience a feeling that is indescribable and once you leave the sight your heart feels different. It is quite an experience. I highly recommend a visit to India and specifically the Taj Mahal. In addition to my admiration for this attraction I realized I was also an attraction. Blondes are highly prized in India. Indians love to take pictures with us, look at us, hand us their babies to hold and touch our hair. It was like being followed by the paparazzi. After a while it can be intense. As if my day could not get any better after visiting the Taj Mahal my tour guide shared with us that we could go and see the Taj Mahal at night. Wow! I was so happy that I would get to see the monument all lit up. I remember walking down a dark street and the anticipation of seeing the Taj Mahal all lit up was such a thrill and I could not wait to see it. It was almost like I was dreaming it as I was walking to it and then we stopped walking. I was confused because it was still dark. So what did I see? I saw a huge shadow of the Taj Mahal while standing under a street lamp. I was blessed for the experience, but in a way disappointed that I did not see a bright white structure glowing at night. Either way it was worth my time. It was a memorable experience and I love to share my story since most people think the same thing as myself.
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