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Point of view: Another view of India's icon

No trip to India is complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra. The Indian icon encapsulates the expansiveness of India under the Moguls - the Muslim leaders who ruled the subcontinent's Hindu majority for 300 years until 1858, when the British took over.

The Taj Mahal is to India what Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is to England, a beloved tale of true love. The setting, the building, and the reflecting pools of the Taj Mahal are so riveting it is nearly impossible to take a photo of anything but the monument itself. But if one can break the spell, one can find many other beautiful aspects of the place worthy of observation.

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This image was taken looking back from the Taj Mahal (instead of at it) onto the marble tiles that surround the base of the structure. The simple design of the mosaic, typical of traditional Islamic design, is broken by the figure of a Hindu woman walking into it. There is some irony in the fact that the great majority of visitors to the Taj Mahal today are Hindu.