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the taj seen without people visiting, try a visit at dawn or twilight

The number of the pilgrims to the temple of love since July 3 1997 is:

The Taj

This is an extract from India - a Guide to the Experience.

By David Stuart Ryan.

This chapter from the book concentrates on the Taj Mahal. Over 100 original photographs in this large format color book, give the real flavor of India from the pen of David Stuart Ryan, the award winning poet who has spent nearly two years there on his travels.

The book can be ordered by phone in the US on (1)-800 545 2005.

It has been called the most beautiful temple in the world. Even though built at the cost of much human life, the white marbled mausoleum at Agra has become the monument of a man's love for a woman.

In 1631, when his wife died in childbirth, the emperor Shah Jihan brought to Agra the most skilled craftsmen from all Asia and even Europe. He intended to build a black marbled mausoleum for himself and the link between the two was to be a silver bridge. But the enemy of mortality stopped this breathtakingly beautiful conception.

Everyone has their own favourite time to see the Taj Mahal. Crowds will distract you from the coolly serene presence of this flawless monument. Try arriving just as it opens or is about to close. A few minutes alone in the perpetually echoing inner sanctum will reward you far more than several hours spent on a guided tour. The sensuously curving lines of the temple of love demand to be savoured without interruption, then the presence of the building itself will impart its own message.

The tombs of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal are actually located in a shadowy burial crypt. At ground level, in the very centre of the building is the cenotaph dedicated to Mumtaz. Sing in the inner shrine and the notes will float upwards in a presentiment of the music of the spheres.

Relax and be open. Under the full moon the pearly white exterior is shrouded in mystery. Love, the greatest mystery of all. In India, part at least of your time will be spent learning and gaining new perspectives. That lasts.

Order information for the book, India, a Guide to the Experience.

Link to the Hindu holy city of Benares from David Stuart Ryan's book, India, a guide to the experience.

Link to a poem about the Taj Mahal by David Stuart Ryan. Taj poem

Link to yoga philosophy The philosophy of Ganesh Baba

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