This is a trip that has been full of incredible moments. We stood on the Great Wall of China. We went for a treasure hunt around the  Sydney Opera House. We jumped with the Masai in Kenya. We sat atop ostriches (or watched it happen ;))and elephants and horses and camels. We had high tea in the desert and floated on the River Ganges in India.Those moments and so many more are easily accessed in our recent memories, through our collective recall (“Hey what was the name of that guy we met who tried to tell me the future?”) and, for now, among the 50,000 plus photos on our hard drives.

Despite all of that, when I stepped out and saw the Taj Mahal, the sheer beauty of the white marble marvel stunned me. I had expected feelings of respect and appreciation but not the goosebumps that climbed up from my fingertips. We spent way longer than I expected exploring the grounds, discussing the technical prowess that would be necessary to not only build it, but allow it to stand and shine for so long.

taj mahal

The Taj Mahal

And while I would’ve been happy to sit in quiet contemplation of the gorgeous structure, the boys were all about the open space. With a surprising lack of crowds they could run and jump to their heart’s delight – a rarity on a trip where mom is often cautioning about being too close to the edge of this or that precipice.

Luckily our guide for Agra was a former teacher. Rajeev was as excited to teach them about the history and culture as he was to show them some great photo tricks. In his enthusiasm they found the perfect partner, especially when he took hold of the camera for the mandatory fun pictures that we’ll treasure.

Here are a few of our favourites:

The old holding up the building effect was popular….

Cam pinch taj

Cam carrying the Taj Mahal

Ish carrying Taj

Ish's turn

There was the classic  jump shot…

cam jumpshot prep

Getting ready for the jump shot


cam jumpshot

Jumping Cam


Jumping E Taj

Jumping Ethan!

Ish jump shot

There goes Ish

heather jumpshot

Got me too :)


And then the mini-me attempts…


mom dad mini

Always supportive Ish


Mom in thier hands

Mom in the palm of thier hands


And the always popular through the key hole effect…

fam through keyhole

View through the lattice at the rear of the Taj

There are a ton of “photographers” in the park who will offer to take these or similar shots for a fee. Skip them. Book Rajeev as your tour guide instead. You’ll get the pictures plus the insights of a truly incredible guide who understands that the kids want to run as much as they want to learn.

photo setup taj

Rajeev, our trusty guide, setting up the shots...


rajeev and fam taj

Amazing day with a guide who gave a little extra