Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is the most tightly secured monument we have visited so far on our World Tour and with all the rulings that have been issued as to what can and cannot be done there, it has also become somewhat of a hot spot. This warning I only heard when we arrived in Agra. India has a free and very lively press and, with that, there are also tabloid papers who are looking for cheap and fast scandals. While, in the Western world, it takes mocked-up photos to create a scandal (for example, two people who have actually never met having an ostensible affair thanks to a picture of them together thanks to Photoshop), in India it seems to only take a long zoom to create a false illusion (a compressed image) and to make people believe that we flew right over the Taj Mahal (the Taj has a 500m radius no-fly zone which we respected at all times). Check out the picture on the Taj Mahal page here in the World Tour section to see what I mean – we are behind the Taj and the photo was taken with a telescopic lens! So, there you go: the first scandal on New7Wonders, created out of nothing, in India. Again, the Indian authorities proved to be intelligent and cooperative and understood right away what was going on. There was just no way to avoid this. The Taj Mahal has definitely become a hot spot!

I must admit that looking at the Taj from the air and from a distance it looks like a white gem set in the middle of greenery and brown earth. And its symbolism for love becomes even more evident. The Taj Mahal makes a very unique mark on our planet Earth!

The next two days, we were filming and taking pictures of the Taj from all angles. An old man just sitting on a bench inside of the Taj Mahal park grabbed my attention. He was sitting there contemplating the beauty of the Taj and its surroundings. He confessed to me that he had cancer … his mind was one of the most brilliant ones I have met so far. I look forward to sharing his comments with you on TV when we release our documentary in the spring of 2007. India and the Taj Mahal, you were a worthily wonderful grand finale for the New7Wonders World Tour in 2006.