Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh

It seems no visit to India is complete without a visit to Agra and the legendary Taj Mahal.   This was my third visit over the years with today's picture being taken from the Mehtab Bagh, or "Moonlight Garden," on the opposite side of the Yamuna River.    I won't go into detail here about the history and architecture involved as it's extensively explained elsewhere.

Years ago (back in the film days) I photographed the Taj from the river bank with boatmen in the foreground.   Today that shot isn't possible as the river bank is fenced off for supposed "security" reasons.

Taj Mahal and birds

Beware the dreaded Allen Key!

I can't help but roll my eyes whenever "security" is trotted out as the excuse for bureaucratic pettiness!   Another example  from this trip was airport security pre flight into and out of Leh in Ladakh where every camera, lens and accessory was hand inspected individually.   At one point I observed as no less than three different people, dangerously armed with naive curiosity, picked up and studied one of my lenses.   I couldn't help but agonise over the prospect of one of these people clumsily dropping and damaging such an expensive piece of equipment (good luck getting any form of compensation should it happen!)

This reached its silliest when one of my travelling companions was taken to task over his possession of an Allen key,  deemed to be a "tool".   The Allen key is of course required to tighten mounting plates to camera bodies or telephoto lenses.   Damaging or dismantling an aircraft with such a tool is impossible.   Fortunately the matter was resolved when it was established that the aircraft was built by Boeing and not Ikea!

For anyone making the flight into Ladakh, allowing yourself plenty of time pre-flight and stocking up on patience is recommended.    ~KD