Saturday, September 30, 2017

Picturing the Most Beautiful Building in the World: My Photos of the Taj Mahal

For two weeks in August, I traveled to India.

On a tour with Gate 1 Travel, I visited Delhi, Jaipur, Abhaneri and Agra, and on my own ventured to Mumbai, then onto Bangalore where I stayed with friends and took a day trip to Mysore.

I provided on-the-go recaps and observations on my Seth the Tourist travel blog, complemented by photos posted to Facebook.

Theoretically I will eventually post an India travelogue on Seth Saith, but have been more so been putting available time to selecting, lightly editing and compiling photographs, out of nearly 20,000 taken.

So far, I have posted galleries of:
- Delhi
- Jaipur
- Abhaneri

I have since been working on Agra, which features some amazing sights in addition to the astonishing Taj Mahal. But I can now share my best photos of the Taj here.

The pictures on the grounds of the Taj Mahal were taken on Sunday, August 13, 2017 as part of the tour itinerary, and the next morning I took a private cab to take pix from across the Yamuna River in a garden known as Mehtab Bagh. I've also included one photo taken from the Agra Fort.

NBA superstar Kevin Durant posted this picture of the
Taj Mahal with significant scaffolding on July 29, 2017,
just 15 days before my visit.

Though I also used my iPhone 6s and a Canon SX600HS point-and-shoot, almost all the pictures here were taken with my Canon Rebel T3i digital SLR. (As you'll see, there were also a few photos taken of me.)

Not only was I blessed with clear weather, but in a year when the Taj has been largely scaffolded or partially covered due to cleaning and conservation efforts--with the possibility of major cloaking of the facade having prompted me to ponder putting off my trip--I was thrilled to find the Taj Mahal pristine, with not even a minaret shrouded in metal (as has pretty consistently been the case).

Photography of the the interior is largely forbidden, including of the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal--favorite wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, upon whose death he had the Taj commissioned--that serves as its centerpiece. But I captured what I could.

There were many wonderful aspects of going to India, including traveling with a friend and a tour group, visiting longtime friends and seeing & photographing many phenomenal sights--and compelling people. Those stories will continued to be told, but strictly from a photographic sense, getting these pictures--culled from thousands more--was the highlight. Enjoy.

All photos by Seth Arkin copyright 2017. Please do not repost without permission or attribution.

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