INDIA, Taj Mahal 1972 / 73

India, Taj Mahal ...  1972 / 73


These photos are from my first great journey in the 1970s ... from Amsterdam, Holland, via France, Austria, Italy, Jugoslavia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Persia (Iran), Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal ... and back, in a Landrover. 

We - my travelling companion Saskia and myself - were about a week near Agra ... spending a lot of time in the Taj Mahal. The 'pink' photos were taken very early in the morning, before sunrise.

Close by was a community of Sadhus (holy men), very friendly, but also very savvy. Their leader, who took me around to take these photos, counted every time I clicked the shutter and sure enough, at the end I was asked for a 'donation', according not only to how many photos I took, but he also asked, "black & white or colour?" On this epic journey I photographed with Nikon cameras and lenses between 20mm and 1000mm (the marvellous mirror lens).

The most astonishing aspect of my 'great journey' is how few photographs I took, seeing I am a photographer. Frankly, I was stunned by what I saw and it seemed so trivial to bring the camera out and take pictures. From the same trip see also photos from Afghanistan and Kathmandu & Nepal.

Agra and the Taj Mahal

Now-a-days - I hear - you can't take your own photos inside the Taj Mahal anymore ... they need to sell their brochures and postcards so as to raise money to be able to keep the place clean and tidy and regularly rejuvenated; a lot of work, I'm sure.

The  Taj Mahal  is made entirely from marble, all the intricate designs you see are inlays of precious stones. It took about 30 years to build, from 1628 to 1658 employing some 20,000 artisans. The artistry is amazing, beyond words. 

Frankly - I need to use a cliché here - one needs to see it to believe it.