After saying goodbye to the schools, the next farewell would be to India. India started out as such a foreign exotic place to me. At the beginning of this journey I felt like an outsider looking in when it came to assimilating into Indian culture. However, now I can say that India truly holds a special place in my heart and I consider it to be a second home. Bangalore had become such a haven for us and it was sad to say goodbye as we headed out to see one of the seven wonders of world. We left the comfort we’d settled into in Bangalore and headed to the far north.
Our goal of this journey was to get to see the Taj Mahal, despite the unbearable heat of the northern part of India, we were still determined to make this goal a reality. We left the comfort of our air conditioned bus to enter the gates of the Taj Mahal. Nadeem, our tour guide briefed us on some history of this monument before entering. The Taj Mahal is actually a tomb built for an Indian king’s beloved wife who died during child labor. This monument was so extravagant it took twenty two years to build and nearly bankrupt the empire. I could go on about the fascinating history of this historic monument, but I’ll wrap it up by saying the story behind the Taj Mahal’s creation is nothing short of fascinating.
I’ll never forget when we turned the corner to go through gate that leads to the Taj Mahal. It absolutely took my breathe away and the beauty of the monument and it’s surroundings can not be put into words. Between the white marble tower, pristine blue pools and impeccable grounds, it is a sight I will not soon forget. After an obligatory photo opp with this gorgeous scenery, we headed into the Taj Mahal. As it is a resting place, guests are asked to keep their voices quiet and refrain from photography as a sign of respect. Inside the Taj Mahal is the tomb of the late King and Queen in the center of this miraculously ornate room below an ornate chandelier. The sight gave me chills and it was incredible to be so close to history. The inside is lavished with the most expensive and exquisite gem stones money could by in the 1600s. The king chose these because when then moon hits them at night it makes them glow which would illuminate this mausoleum.
I still get chills writing about this experience because it was so unbelievable. Never in my life did I think I would find myself at the Taj Mahal. Being at this incredible monument was such a culminating moment for this entire experience for me. This made me realize how fortunate I was to get to take part in this experience and how grateful I am that this trip changed me the way it did. I can truly say I am a more worldly, laid back and inquisitive person than I ever was before. I’m never going to be the same again after this experience and what a beautiful thought that is. India thank you for showing me some of the most incredible people, scenery, and culture that I could’ve ever imagined. This trip has impacted my life significantly and I can’t wait to take back all I’ve learned and experienced to the US. Finally, I want to thank everyone who allowed me this incredible opportunity to go on this trip. I could not be more grateful for this opportunity. Farewell for now India, I know I can’t stay away from you too long.