About the Blog

The Department of Political Science, with the assistance of the Division of International Studies & Programs at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, is pleased to introduce its India Program - a unique joint partnership between A&M-Kingsville; the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University-College Station; and Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study (JNIAS), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, India.

The Program is being co-directed by Dr. Nirmal Goswami, Professor of Political Science, A&M-Kingsville; Dr. Kishore Gawande, Professor of Economics, the Bush School, Texas A&M-College Station; and by Dr. Aditya Mukherjee, Director, JNIAS.

The Program will include graduate and undergraduate students traveling to and staying in India from December 28th, 2010, through January 14th, 2011, attending classes at JNIAS, and visiting multiple sites through field trips in the greater New Delhi region. Areas of focus include history, politics, economics, culture, health, environmental policies, nuclear issues, etc., with reference to both greater Asia and India.

This blog will document our experience. You are welcome to post comments.

You are all invited to cyber travel with us as we learn about the uniqueness of India.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Taj Mahal

While Agra is only about 150 miles away, the group had to leave at six a.m. on Saturday morning because it is approximately a five hour drive. This was because the roads were filled with traffic the entire way and the bus never went fast. We made the time fly by either sleeping or peer-pressuring our friends to tell embarrassing stories on the microphone at the front of the bus. Our first stop in Agra was at the Taj Mahal. We bought our tickets and jumped on a golf car that took us to the gate. The ride was extremely interesting! We saw camels and a completely naked man. I was able to snap a picture of the camel, but I missed the man. Supposedly, he was a monk undergoing a ritual they must complete.
 Upon arrival at the gates, the ladies quickly went through security, while the men were searched thoroughly. Caleb was caught trying to sneak a chocolate bar, so we were all forced to help him eat it before he could enter. The first sight of the Taj Mahal was unreal. It is much more than what pictures make it to be. It cannot be described. It has to be seen. We did. The world is divided into two groups of people: those who have seen the Taj and those who have not. We now happily belong to the first group. There is no point trying to describe the Taj; it cannot be. All of you just have to come and marvel at it yourselves. Do that when you get the chance.
Our tour guide gave us facts about the construction of the Taj Mahal. An interesting thing about the structure was that the four pillars surrounding the dome are built at an angle away from the dome. This is to prevent damages that could happen if they were to collapse. Also, our tour guide told us the history of the structure. It was built in honor of Mumtaz, the wife of the Emperor Shah Jehan. It is a monument to love and what a monument it is.
~ Amanda W

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