You’ve undoubtedly seen images of the Taj Mahal many, many times. Still, nothing can quite compare you for your first glimpse of this marvelous mausoleum.
On the morning I planned to visit, I woke up with the roosters. It was my first time in India and I was determined to arrive before thousands of additional visitors joined me.
After passing through the Taj’s turnstile, I sat on a bench in front of the reflecting pool and watched how the light changed the marble’s color. It gradually transitioned from a shrimp-colored hue in the morning to a pristine white by mid-day.
However, I didn’t always have such a romantic perception of this great monument dedicated to love. In fact, I once confused the Taj Mahal with a monument dedicated to corn.
When I was eight years old, my parents and I, accompanied by our German friends, embarked on a trip to the Western United States. We stopped at Yellowstone Park and Mount Rushmore. Eventually, we made it to Mitchell, South Dakota, the home of the Corn Palace.
The Corn Palace was originally built in 1892 and served to showcase the fertile soil of South Dakota. Today, the palace lives on and features maize-adorned murals. With domes and pointed towers, its architecture is reminiscent of the Taj Mahal — at least in the eyes of an eight-year-old.
After touring the palace of corn as a child, I later saw a picture of India’s gem. I excitedly remarked to my mother, “Look! Look! It’s the Corn Palace!”
Memories of that childhood blunder were with me that day in India, as I marveled at the Taj Mahal.
As the afternoon sun wore on, the pristine white marble began to take on hints of a new yellowish color — remarkably similar to corn.
Where in the World?
Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.
35 thoughts on “The Taj Mahal: A Monument to Love… Or Corn?”
So awesome! It doesn’t even look real! Reminds me of Aladdin :)
I can see the resemblance too, Christina! I read that the Taj is a prime example of Mughal architecture (which has Persian, Indian & Turkish ingredients all blended together).
I was in awe when I opened your blog to the photographs and story of the Taj Mahal. What an incredible journey you and your husband are having Tricia. Memories of a life time. Virginia
Virginia, I actually snapped these shots during my first trip to India in my pre-hubby days. :) He and I didn’t get a chance to explore the north during our most recent trip, but it’s a spot I hope to return to with him sometime soon!
I think that it would be a romantic trip. Virginia
The last photo Tricia; what a beautiful way to see the Taj Mahal! Your corn story is very cute; the Corn Palace!
Also a great way to escape the heat in the shade of that beautiful archway!
Nice to see the different vantage points compared “the” typical view :)
Nice to hear from you and glad you enjoyed the different perspectives! Admittedly, I have a lot of the standard fare too, but these were more fun to share :)
I agree that photos just don’t compare to seeing the Taj in person. It is a brilliant architectural manifestation of a husband’s love for his late wife. Hopefully it lives up to the Corn Palace.
And so many interesting tales surround it too! Though some critics state that it’s a myth, it’s also intriguing to read that it was the husband’s wish to have his mausoleum (in black) later built across from the Taj. I think my book also mentioned that Shah Jahan was later imprisoned by his own son – in a spot that looked upon the magnificent structure he commissioned. Thanks for dropping by, Cabbie, and yes, now I want to see the Corn Palace again! :)
Great photo’s Tricia and lovely story to go with it, thanks.
Thank you, thank you, Mark! How can one go wrong with the Taj, right? :)
A gorgeous series of shots. I think the sepia works very well. And you did the right thing getting there so early!
Many thanks, Rachael! I’m not a true morning bird, but the early wake-up was well worth it! :)
Wonderful! Thank you for sharing! It looks so magical without the visiting crowds…
Yulia, thank you! I cannot recall – did you make it to Agra on your recent trip? Gosh, how I miss Indian food. Yesterday we bought some colorful lentils and dressed them in a curry sauce, trying to replicate the yummy dhals.
Hi Tricia! Yes, I did make it to Agra and Taj Mahal, but we were there during peak hours and had to fight for a nice viewing spot :) Your visit seems to be more serene! :) I miss Indian food too – tried to make some at home recently :D
These photographs are particularly beautiful! When you have such a wonder in your own country, you often take it for granted, but now I see that I must visit it soon.
Thank you, Ruth! Agreed about sometimes taking our own wonders for granted. I haven’t been out to truly explore the American west since my “Corn Palace” trip. :) I’m looking forward to seeing more of my home country’s wonders.
Yes, it proves tricky taking visitors around Bombay sometimes. Did you receive my email?
Hi Ruth, yes I did! I just sent a reply back this afternoon. Hope you are enjoying Kerala!
I’ve been to the Corn Palace too!
Great pics! Someday I’ll make an adventure to India, but first I’ve got to finish with China.
Kevin, are you in China now? Ay pointers on must-see spots or regions? We’re hoping to make it there soon.
Thanks for stopping by – I wasn’t sure many people had heard of the Corn Palace. :)
Tricia, yep, I’m in China now, but only for another month. Of course there are the big places and things to see like Beijing with the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and the nearby wall. One of my favorite places has been Yangshuo just outside of Guilin in Guangxi Province. In a few weeks I’ll be traversing all over the country before I head home with visits to Sichuan and Gansu. You can check out my blog to get ideas for places to visit. Best wishes with your traveling.
Enjoy the rest of your time there, Kevinearl, and thanks for sharing your favorites with me. I will definitely refer to your blog for some place pointers. All the best!
Taj Mahal is absolutely breathtaking! And these pictures, equally so! How much have you seen India?
Your website is great! You seem such a beautiful person.
Love and wishes from India.
(Mind having look at my blog too!)
Greetings, Shruti and thank you! I’ve seen a mixture of both north & south — the so called “Golden Triangle” (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur & Pushkar) and Mumbai, Munnar, Fort Kochi, and the Kerala backwaters… I tried taking a peek at your blog, alas, the link did not work. Perhaps you can send your most updated one.
You can try up this – http://18shruti.wordpress.com/
You’ve seen much of India. And Kerela is real beauty, ain’t it?
Hope to hear from you more.
Yes, the Taj is amazing at absorbing the light. Great story and connection with the Corn Palace!
Hello Mark, my apologies for responding at such a snail’s pace – we’re on the road again, this time visiting family in North America.
I’m happy you enjoyed the tale from my younger days. It’s fun seeing how our perspectives on the world change from childhood to adulthood! (My grade school diaries from Europe are another story – so much talk of food!)
Hope you’re enjoying the weekend.
Lovely pictures! I’ll be there in a few weeks time and looking forward to the adventure!! :)
Peter, many thanks! Visiting the Taj is a magical experience. I remember my wake up before dawn, which allowed me to watch the monument to love change with the morning light.
Safe & fun travels!
My wife and I are cooling our heels in Bangkok hoping to get our Indian visa’s, if we don’t get them for some reason we’ve always got the Corn Palace as a backup now..:)
AsiaDreaming, I’m glad that you have a contingency plan. :) It wasn’t long ago that we were in the Philippines awaiting our visas for India. It was well-worth the wait as we had quite a memorable month exploring the south of India. Where are you and your wife headed? Be sure to enjoy the fresh fruit from the street vendors in Bangkok, as it’s something you likely won’t be indulging in much in India. I’m salivating thinking of Indian dishes right now!