The Taj

When I was at school I learnt about the Taj Mahal. It was a building in India that was built by a King for the love of his lost wife. She died and he built a fantastic mausoleum in memory of her passing and as a place for her burial. I knew that it was beautiful and that it was impressive. But… none of that learning did the real thing justice.

I have debated a big teaching type blog where I write about the reasons and history of the Taj but in the end it feels hollow. The Taj is something that is beyond words for me.

We arrived in Agra in a rush of bike problems (stalling and not starting again etc) and when we finally checked in to our hotel, as quoted with Taj views from the restaurant deck, it was better than I had imagined. We were paying about $20/night and had awesome views compared to the hotel next door where they were paying $300/night for the same views.

Up close and personal when you get through the gates to the monument it is better than I could have guessed. I had read ‘how to photograph the Taj Mahal’ advice online and while it helped I think that this is one of the few places I have ever been where you could never mess it up.

The Taj Mahal is truly breathtaking. A pure white building of glorious marble that glows in every light.

Dave was busily telling me that 10 minutes at the monument would be fine – he had books lined up to read while I photographed to my hearts content. In the end he read not a word. He had forgotten just how captivating this building really was.

So rather than talk about it I figured I would just show you my view of the Taj – a monument to a man’s love for his wife…


The view of the Taj from the gardens that run along side the river. Shot on a long lens in late afternoon. There wasn’t much light but I loved the shapes. It was one of my first photos.


We came in through the east gate (there are 3) at dawn and my mission was a reflecting shot without all the people – TICK 🙂


Fellow travellers and us traded photos – this is us in front of the Taj. Original – no, but a definite keepsake 🙂


The Taj in the dawn light.


Literally X marks the spot to get the building in the arch – so who was I to argue 😉


Not typical but very much what we saw as the sun came up.


South eastern corner – the entire building is perfectly symmetrical but I loved the light on this corner.


When you first walk in there are massive arched gates leading in to the complex. I ignored them upon entry to get the shots that were on my list but came back at the end to get the “classic” Taj shot 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis is potentially the most controversial of all of my Taj shots but the one I love the most. This is a building that has been ‘done to death’. It is very difficult to get a ‘new’ perspective on a well known building so I tried a heap of different things. This for me is very Taj. It drew me in and made me feel a warmth even though the building is a hard crisp white. This image was ‘my Taj’ I guess.

No matter what you may think of the mausoleum or the pictures that I have caught – if you ever get to India and have a chance to see the Taj – GO! It is truly awesome. Oh, and stay at the Taj Plaza 😉

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9 Responses to The Taj

  1. Robert says:

    Yeahhh! It is soooooo beautifull! Vistited twice, but still in love..

  2. Vikki says:

    Augustine, you are quickly changing my view of visiting India. I absolutely love your version of the Taj – it’s mystical, enchanted, ethereal, everlasting … Just fantastic.

  3. Tracey Hurn says:


  4. Owen says:

    I really like the last shot here ~ Great shot! Love it 🙂

  5. Kassy says:

    Just catching up on all the adventures, missing you but loving all the blogs and following your journey.
    The photos are fantastic and beautiful but nothing prepared me for the last photo, stunning, very unique and very you 🙂

  6. althea smith says:

    South-eastern corner shot and the last shot get my vote for beauty. Admire the way you think about your photos, Augustine. [Dave’s looking good, too!]

  7. althea smith says:

    South-eastern corner shot and the last shot get my vote for beauty. Admire the way you think about your photos, Augustine. [Dave’s looking good, too!]

  8. Lynette Douglas says:

    Just showed the kids in my class your Taj article and photos. They were impressed. Great photography. They were horrified about your write-up and photos about the Ganges. It was so educational.

    • Augustine says:

      That is so cool. I am pleased that my words and pictures helped to convey a little bit of the world and the good, the bad and the ugly 🙂 Thanks heaps Lynette.

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