The Taj Mahal in Black & White & Corn?

Taj Mahal Sunrise

You’ve undoubtedly seen the image of the Taj Mahal numerous times, but still, nothing can compare you for your first real-life glimpse.

With pure excitement that morning in Agra, I woke up with the roosters, determined to arrive before thousands of additional visitors joined me. It was my first time in India.

After I passed through the turnstile, I sat on a bench in front of the reflecting pool, watching how the light changed the marble’s color. From a shrimp-colored morning glow, to a bathed-in-sunlight look, it was magnificent!

I didn’t always have such a romantic or authentic perception of this great monument to love. In fact, I once confused it with a monument to maize. When I was eight years old, my parents and I, accompanied by our German friends, embarked on a trip to the American west. We stopped at Yellowstone Park, Mt. Rushmore and the Corn Palace, which is in Mitchell, South Dakota. (The Corn Palace was originally built in the 1890s to showcase the fertile South Dakotan soil and the tradition of creating corn-adorned murals has continued today.) After touring the palace of a corn sort, I later saw a picture of India’s gem after which the Corn Palace was modeled. I excitedly remarked to my mother, “Ah, it’s the Corn Palace!”

Elements of that childhood blunder were with me that day in India, particularly as the sun turned the white marble into a golden hue reminiscent of the organic palace devoted to corn in South Dakota. :)

Taj Mahal photography by Tricia Mitchell

Taj Mahal photography by Tricia Mitchell

Taj Mahal photography by Tricia Mitchell

Taj Mahal photography by Tricia Mitchell

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Photography & text © by Tricia A. Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.