Architecture People & Places


Ralph Rapson in Agra, India

Taj Mahal, in Agra, India, designed by Emperor Shah Jahan, 1630 to 1653.

Color sketch by Ralph Rapson, from Ralph Rapson Sketches and Drawings from Around the World, courtesy of the Afton Press.
On my first trip to India, I had been advised to see the Taj Mahal by full moon, if possible. Built in Agra by Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, the white marble structure stands amid dozens of acres of landscaped promenades and reflecting pools. 

The crowds of tourists had vanished by the time I reached the Taj, and I was virtually alone as I walked the grounds, which were bathed in milky moonlight. It was a profound experience, equaled in my life only by similar viewings of the Acropolis and Machu Picchu. – Ralph Rapson

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