Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

I visited the famous Taj Mahal but the visit was marred by the lecture. I learned that Shah Jehan who built the Taj Mahal fell in love, married and in 17 years his wife produced 14 children and then died in childbirth. He built the Taj Mahal over 22 years, employing 20,000 workers and ruined the country financially until his son imprisoned him and became ruler. Instead of it being a monument to love, I found it to be a monument to fiscal disaster for India. It is beautiful and the inlaid marble inside the tomb is phenomenal. As you can see in the picture, thousands visit the monument, between 75,000 and 100,000 per day. The grounds were crowded and when my guide suggested that I sit and feel the spirituality of the site, I was unable to fell much of anything with the crowds, mostly Indian. As I sat on a bench in the grounds, I was approached by young Indian students wanting to take my picture. I was the monkey in the zoo. Visiting the palaces and forts in India I found the wealth and opulence equal only to palaces in St. Petersburg. The contrast with the poverty on the streets was significant.