Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Portrait of India- journey to the Taj Mahal

From lovely, idyllic Khajaraho, we journeyed by bus for 4 hours through the pretty countryside of central India to make a stop at the Orchha palace and temple ruins, then on to catch a train (OMG) to Agra- home of the Taj Mahal.  while driving we passed this sacred elephant named Chandra, meaning frangipani flower, which grow everywhere and which i happened to have in my hair that day from my morning walk earlier- we were able to get off the bus to say hello- boy did i feel in sync with her, another flower girl!

we also took a pit stop at a small wheat growing farm village and were able to visit some of the people-



the indian children are the sweetest- i wanted to take them all home with me, just delightful



this girl with the pet parakeet seemed to have the most clout in the village, a very prized possession



most people go barefoot in the small villages and goats are everywhere





i used to raise nubian goats like this and weaned my own kids on to the milk.  you can see the wheat filed and lake in the background and the farmers working

they were bummed because it wasn't a very good harvest this year





selling garlic

the children work too

women hanging out at the village well



now we leave the small village and pass through some larger towns-




 visit another palace-



and one of the biggest adventures of my life, wait for our train in the station- this was mind blowing.  the numbers of humans squeezed onto the trains was incomprehensible- luckily we rode first class which was like normal coach in the U.S.


i had a hard time holding it together here

children doing acrobatics to earn money
old men begging for money



once again, making it the gorgeous Taj Mahal saved my mental day-





 it is such a romantic, beautiful place- a memorial to love













detail of inlaid semi-precious stone including carnelian and jade


a visit to the white marble palace of love lifted my spirits.  the hotel wasn't too shabby either-








view of taj mahal from our room in the distance




this was my favorite hotel of all the luxury ones we stayed at.  after our visit to the Taj i took a spa day- napping, swimming, and a couple of ayurvedic massages including the warm oil dripping on the 3rd eye continuously for an hour.  a delicious indian dinner, a long sleep in the cozy bed with my sweetie and i was ready for the next city- Jaipur, the gem palace city.  see you next stop~

1 comment:

tinet said...

Erin,

Your photos are wonderful, as well as your comments! I enjoyed meeting you and traveling with you on this "once in a life time" trip. It was truly special.

Namaste,

Tinet Crowell