Monday, April 27, 2015

The Big Trip: India

We have started up our Big Trip again!

When we left you last, we were in Mongolia.  The Zoomlians have been kidding me that we haven't moved on because I love Mongolia.  In reality. life was too crazy- fortunately, in an imaginary trip, you can easily take a break!

So we are visiting northern India, mostly Delhi and Agra.  We've been eating lots of Indian food!  And, of course, touring the Taj Mahal. Hence last week's Poem of the Week.

Did you know that there was a persistent legend that Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal) had built a second Taj Mahal in black stone for his own grave?

He is buried in the actual Taj Mahal (by the son who overthrew and imprisoned him the last years of his life), but he clearly did not intend to be buried there.  His grave (and cenotaph) are the only things in the entire Taj Mahal complex which deviate from it's perfectly symmetrical design.  By "perfectly symmetrical" I mean every last leaf and flower on every wall are mirrored on the opposite wall.

Perfectionist doesn't begin to cover it!

Archeologists have recently uncovered the "Black Taj Mahal!"  But it's not a building.  It's an octagonal reflecting pool (built of  black marble) in the ruined gardens across the river from the actual Taj Mahal.  These were the gardens which Shah Jahan used to visit his wife's grave, and he could see both the white splendor of the actual building and it's ghostly dark reflection.

But what did Shah Jahan intend for his own grave?  We don't know - he never designed or built another tomb. 


Annabelle said...

Fun stuff! Are you going to take a day trip to the south of India where St. Thomas the Apostle died? No longer doubting Thomas to travel that far to spread the Good News!

Wendy said...

I had a priest friend from India who had someone ask him (rather condescendingly) which missionary had converted his family and how long ago.

The answer was St. Thomas in the first century!

I could spend a reeeeeeally long time in India!!

Annabelle said...

lol That is really funny!