Sunday, April 10, 2016

Taj Mahal

In Agra, we caught up to the crowds. Thousands visit the Taj every day. Unfortunately we're seeing it half-shrouded for cleaning. It's still a stunner in every way. 

Our guide, an older guy, announced proudly that today was his 7,964th guiding experience.
To say his enthusiasm lagged would be an understatement. He mumbled a few things - the most obvious 
and commonly known facts about the building - but beyond that his service consisted of pointing the way toward here or there; not to diminish the importance of being shown the way through huge crowds, but it was a lackluster performance. 

Foreign tourism to the Taj is decreasing and domestic tourism is increasing. They charge the locals about 100 rupees each. We paid 1000 rupees each. Obviously revenue is going to go down if the trend continues. Pollution is awful, touts flood the place and much of the time there's a queue. We decided to skip the sunrise and sunset mania and opted for the middle of the day when the crowds thinned. 

Our guide did take some nice photos of us...we're pleased to have these.

Muslim men, here in India, henna their hair when they get old and the hair turns white. Henna is the only
hair color they are permitted to use; it turns a peculiar fiery red when applied to white. 

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