August 31, 2011
I was working on the last few posts about India and realized that my Taj Mahal post won’t be complete without these iconic images.
This is the famous photo of Princess Diana when she visited the Taj Mahal in 1992. She was on an official state visit to India with Prince Charles but she went to see the Taj Mahal, one of the greatest monuments of love, by herself. It was around this time when their marriage was about to collapse. This photo was used to represent her solitude during her failing marriage.
Fast forward to 2011, my friends and I were determined to have an “iconic” photograph at the Taj Mahal too. We went at the crack of dawn and made it to the site before 7am. They say the Taj looks its best at the crack of dawn or dusk, not at high noon. Besides it would be too hot. Early morning has less people. But obviously, everyone else had the same idea. It was hard to get the perfect shot.
We spent so much time taking photos at the exterior that Ingrid and I were left with only 10 minutes to go through the actual tomb inside. We didn’t get to check out the mosques on either sides of the great tomb. Some of our travel group friends didn’t actually go up or inside the Taj. But I was determined to touch it. I had anticipated this moment for a very long time. And it didn’t disappoint. The energy and mood at the Taj was so powerful.
Here are my favourite photos taken by very generous and patient friends.
This is the money shot! I couldn’t believe we had an unobstructed view and perfectly centred position in the charbagh or Mughal gardens. I had given up on the Princess Diana bench. It was like People Power or potential World War 3 just getting my turn. So while inching our way through the long passage towards the Taj, I saw this opening and a line of about 3 people waiting patiently for their turn. I waited. I asked Stevie Villacin to shoot me using my camera. Then Ingrid told me that my K&Company dress’ colours resembled Princess Diana’s. Totally by fluke.
Thank you Ingrid. Looking at this brings me back to the beautiful light and perfect setting of the Taj.
Oh and I chose to wear my Jackie O sunglasses. These are the same ones she wore in 1978. Nina Ricci reissued it in March 2009, but I got mine two months before release. I met the rep of the eyewear company while he was doing the rounds in Asia. I was hosting the launch of another luxury eyewear brand, he had it in his kit and I told them that I wanted it. Even before I knew it was “the” Jackie O sunnies. I know someone will ask where they can buy these same glasses, the answer is I do not know. This was back in 2009. Here you can see Jackie O wearing the same frames.
Click, click to see more Taj Mahal photos, plus I’m sharing some tips for those planning a trip to India…