Taj Mahal, Agra, India

The Taj Mahal, Agra, India. These photos were taken in December 2008.

This is among the most photographed and studied buildings in the world.

There remain two secret places in the Taj Mahal: the false and real tombs of Shah Jehan and of his wife, Mumtaz. The false tomb is on the ground floor.  Visitors circumambulate in complete quiet. There is very little light there. Under a grill in front of this tomb is the crypt with the real tombs. In complete darkness. No photographs are allowed of any part of this environment.

I am not used to this. I am used to Coeur de Lion right there in his sarcophagus in front of me so that I can cry if I want to.

Here at the Taj Mahal, in the center of that brilliant white translucent marble is a dense, dark stillness without which there would be no meaning in the incredible beauty of its surroundings alight in full sun.

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