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04. März 13

osb@tajmahal

Second day of our learning journey to India. Second daily report written for those who want to follow us...

Today was dedicated to a wonderful experience: we visited one oft he „7 new world wonders“ – the Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal is situated in Agra about 200 km south of Delhi. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures.

It took us about four ours to get to Agra. Today was an average day at Taj Mahal with round about 20.000 visitors. Our guide explained the great love story of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz to us. And there it was: White marble reflected by the sun and the water that is surrounding the mausoleum. The inside of the mausoleum is designed far beyond traditional decorative elements. Here, the inlay work is a lapidary of precious and semiprecious gemstones.

By a matter of chance (the warden of the mausoleum was not very fond of our talking...) we engaged in a conversation with the warden of the two tombs. What we learned was just amazing: The man who is guarding the tombs is doing his job in 7th generation. His father and the fathers before him were doing exactly the same thing every day. There is hardly anyone who knows more about this place than this guard. He took about half an hour to share his very special knowledge with us. One more encounter with a very friendly, relaxed and open India.

On our way back to Delhi, passing the cows on the roads, the motorcycles, tuc tucs, bikes, buses, cars and pedestrians, listening to the noise and watching indian daily life I tought to myself: It is not too bad of an option for life to know exactly what your purpose (and your sons and your grand-sons) is: To watch the rest of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan...

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