Chand Baori and Agra, India

Apr 29, 2013

 photo c26ef59f-8f20-42c8-a0a1-8e4682e81168_zpsdae7d2e1.jpg photo 40b0320c-f843-4502-8b9b-0b2d2c9cb774_zps2ce5e4bc.jpg



 photo de64f88c-d49d-440d-8286-e4be933c0b1a_zps49acbee1.jpg
Chand Baori is a famous stepwell that was built in 800 CE in a tiny, tiny town that rests on the route to Agra.  It leads down to a well 13 stories under, and looks like a mathematical wonder when you crane you head over the railing and peak inside. That symmetry! It looks like something I'd see as a geometry problem on a worksheet back when I was 15. And if it looks familiar, think back to the prison in Dark Knight Rises. That's Chand Baori! photo 10d45395-9c29-422d-95bb-e59ca91d9d04_zps8af5ce2b.jpg photo d3268196-a99b-4111-ad15-3b9452551409_zps80d87978.jpg
Dress from Sugarlips
 photo 0b881032-c61e-4bd1-89e7-363f9954a68d_zps94edc9c7.jpg
After seeing the steps we hopped back into a taxi that would take us back to the main road and to a bus, that would finally take us to Agra and the beautiful, poetic Taj Mahal.
 photo b4c26471-4541-4595-ad50-bbae0c8bb083_zps11d49b45.jpg photo e3fbbf36-7564-4980-9902-31fc4e14c644_zps25273c41.jpg photo 8768cc48-6d2f-4fd2-a87b-a58dbd5e1c5b_zpse76e0747.jpg
Once in Agra we went straight to the Taj and were met with this giant sandstone gate that opens up to the mausoleum. The calligraphy that runs across it is a passage from the Quaran that invites any despairing soul to find refuge in the Gardens of Paradise. And seeing how the emperor's vision was to create an earthly replica of Eden for his late wife, that was very fitting.  After it was built, the emperor let the world know:

Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator's glory.
 photo indiav185_zps6fff1d18.jpg
 photo 20330c62-02c6-4cb8-adba-bff441313d65_zpsb7fbd930.jpg photo 8f589797-2c65-494e-bdbb-987ac2ad418f_zps94661d79.jpg photo 81aa38ca-4335-48a5-9e3c-9ece185d61a4_zps6438e7ce.jpg photo indiav180_zps3801cee2.jpg
The Taj Mahal is a tragic love poem that's been quietly standing as a testament to those adoring feelings for hundreds of years now. It was built in 1631 when the emperor lost his third wife when she died in labor with their 14th child.  He rose the marble mausoleum to lay her to rest in a heaven on earth.
 photo ab5a9b47-9b39-49f1-8aa2-0b4845dea779_zpsd27f8f2a.jpg photo 9cd7476a-df8a-4faf-9587-ee4acade877d_zps64ea2d46.jpg photo 6062a903-fd06-48da-9c8f-75832388faa6_zpsed6ad479.jpg photo indiav226_zpse515825f.jpg
That day (and just about ever day) was so, so, so, so bright, haha!
 photo indiav298_zpsfdc363e3.jpg
After walking the gardens of the Taj Mahal and quietly thinking about a love so huge that it rose one of the Seven Wonders of the World, we spent a day walking and eating in Agra. Here I am with a group of cuties that were trying to finagle a rupee or two from us, standing in their usual arrow-straight poses haha.
 photo indiav322_zps7dd587ac.jpg
And a real life snake charmer! Cray-zay!

Next, stay tuned for my favorite part of the trip, Varanasi. 

______________________________________
Follow Messages on a Napkin on:

BLOGLOVIN • FACEBOOK • PINTEREST • TWITTER •  MY SHOP!
______________________________________

48 comments :

  1. Very cool! I immediately thought Dark Knight Rises. I'm sure it was insane to see it in person. Not only because of the movie, but because of the architecture. It is so beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. o.my.god. your life rules. except i'm dizzy from staring at those stairs!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wooooow. I'm sure it was a sensory overload but it looks bright, hot and so utterly foreign and wonderful there

    ReplyDelete
  4. ok that is seriously awesome! Cool post!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. amazing photos
    http://loving-evelyn.blogspot.ro

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow, these photos are amazing -- and you look gorge!

    ReplyDelete
  7. wow very interesting place to go, I went to Nepal last year and the mountains are so frigging amazing! If you have a chance, you should go there. One step closer to Mt.Everest!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Aah! A real life snake charmer! It seems like something out of a storybook.

    You look genuinely ecstatic :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. The architecture is stunning. India is a place I need to visit! I hope you are enjoying it there. Take care!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Whoa, that stepwell -- breathtaking! And of course, the Taj Mahal -- awe-inspiring architecture, a labour of love in every sense. You look gorgeous in that dress -- and that's the sort of sun we get here everyday haha

    ReplyDelete
  11. You have SO many photos! I love it! how long were you there?

    xo Lisa
    Making Life's Lemons

    ReplyDelete
  12. What amazing photos! That stepwell made my eyes go funny!xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. lovely photos:) Taj Mahal is always beautiful but to me it seems kind of less romantic after I've watched the documentary that said his wife died while she accompanied him to battle?....Who takes a pregnant wife to war with them anyway? However, supposedly they could spend a second away one from another so I guess that is romantic, that kind of love is rare...and maybe there is a reason for it.

    Thank you for your sweet comment!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am DEFINITELY coming back for my Indian fix, thank you! Again thanks for this beautiful post, beautiful words and description and pictures! You commented on my blog - or better, asked - that I am going soon to India, nooo! I said I am planning to go as soon as I can, hopefully next year! And the places? I want to go to Varanasi, Agra - the Taj Mahal!, Mumbai, Dehli, Goa... wherever I can, I know I will learn so much there, and this is what I want... to be wowed! So I definitely need to go to the Taj Mahal, cause I will be forgiven for my sins... I am looking forward to it! (I am not joking about the sins :) and I was very pleased that you wrote what the emperor wrote there! One more reason for me to go!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow such lovely photos! It looks like you had an amazing time x

    http://whatisinherwardrobe.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your photographs of the Taj Mahal are stunning - captured the aspects of India beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
  17. wow, love the architecture! great photos. :)

    itsrainingblueumbrellas.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. Unbelievable! I want to retrace your steps exactly.

    You look gorgeous by the way, love this outfit!

    ReplyDelete
  19. That must have been a truly amazing experience. I love your pictures.

    Tracy

    ReplyDelete
  20. Not gonna lie, I'm almost ready for you to run out of these trip pictures so I can stop being so jealous all the time! Haha. Seriously gorgeous photos of the Taj Mahal, and I absolutely love the snake charmer one! How crazy to actually see that in person!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Lovely pictures!! Taj - means crown in hindi.!
    Taj Mahal is indeed very very beautiful!
    risingcolors.blogspot.in

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gosh, these buildings are so incredible! I'm assuming the Taj Mahal is one of those buildings that look amazing in photos but exponentially more breathtaking in person. What a great experience! And loving that dress :)

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. chand baori looks absolutely amazing! i've heard about it before but i think this is the first time i've seen 'personal' photos of it.. beautiful. taj as well, of course, looks like you're having a lovely time! i can just imagine the heat? ;)

    steph / absolutely-fuzzy.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. AMAZING photos!!! Looks like a great trip :)

    Kristine
    www.pugglewearsprada.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, that snake charmer is impressive! And it looks like you got close too! Love the pictures, especially the colorful saris. What an adventure!

    ReplyDelete
  26. That grey dress is to die for! So easy, yet super chic!

    Great post! And your blog rocks! Check mine out. Maybe we can follow each other :D
    Alicia
    Lattes & Lacee

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really enjoyed this post. The photos are gorgeous! I'm especially intrigued by those amazing staircases.

    Sincerely,
    Sabrina

    ReplyDelete
  28. Amazing photos, the steps are amazing. And I love your dress!
    I feel like I am a part of your adventure!
    xo Annie

    newenglandromance.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. you are looking gorgeous and these pictures look amazing =) hope you guys are having an amazing time!

    ReplyDelete
  30. this post is amazing Marlen!! I never knew the story behind The Taj Mahal so thanks for sharing that as well as your gorgeous pictures! It looks like you had such a fun time too, fun you even posed w/ the little boys (and how are you not in shades? My eyes would die!). The real life snake charmer is so cool! I kind of didnt believe they still existed in real life until now.
    http://dusanabotswana.com/

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm amazed. Please take me with you in your travels! ahah

    ReplyDelete
  32. Visiting India? Lucky you! I wish I was there to be your guide!
    Enjoy your trip but its summer there, must be crazy hot and humid!
    And tell me how you 'liked' the traffic!;)
    Love
    Juneli from Fashionably Yours

    ReplyDelete
  33. This pictures are just amazing!!!

    http://beautybubblesinyourlife.blogspot.fr/

    ReplyDelete
  34. amazing photos! Looks like such an awesome trip, I'm jealous :)

    thanks for your sweet comment on my blog, I hope you'll stop by again soon xoxox

    http://thepersephonecomplex.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oh wow, the Taj Mahal! It's so beautiful! There's so much detail on it and I would just want to sit and stare and soak it up all day, aaa~

    And I love that last picture of the snake charmer. Too neat.

    ReplyDelete
  36. love your photo, the place looks amazing!!

    ReplyDelete
  37. omg these photos are INSANE! and you dress is just oh so perfect xxx

    http://rendersublime.blogspot.com.au/

    ReplyDelete
  38. This looks like an amazing trip; I've always wanted to visit India! Absolutely stunning photos, great post. I'm following you now, more of this please, keep us all updated on your travels!

    http://robynsnestx.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

    ReplyDelete
  39. What an awesome experience! I can't even imagine seeing the Taj Mahal in person. So beautiful!!

    Mackenzie
    www.heybirdfriend.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I love your blog!! I am a new follower and can't wait to read more from you! :)

    These pictures are so magical, I am wishing for an adventure now!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Taj is beautiful I keep telling my husband (who has not been there) that no picture can do justice to it's beauty..one has to actually see it..

    www.thetimesofmanyphases.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. stunning, i am in awe of the taj mahal breathtaking pictures!

    ReplyDelete

Talk, talk, talk!

f16bf93391' type='text/javascript'/>