Wednesday we had some extra time in the morning so we started our day by encouraging each other, along with our morning devotional. Later we headed to the Taj Mahal with our wonderful tour guide Talip, a historian local to Agra who was very knowledgeable. The Taj was built in 22 years with 20,000 workers. The details were incredible!
After the Taj tour, our guide took us to some local artisan markets. The first stop was a embroidery shop. There are only 50 artisans left in the craft. The artists use silk thread and semi precious gemstones to make their beautiful masterpieces that take months to complete. The second artist that we visited in Agra specialized in inlaid marble. It was incredible to watch the craftsmen shape the pieces and make designs out of the semi precious stones. My favorite stone is the orange cornelian. It is a gemstone that light passes through. Similarity, it is our desire for God's light to shine through us.
Next we planned to go to Agra Fort, where the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty resided. However, we got in a bad traffic jam and decided to head back to Delhi instead. Traffic is known for being crazy in India. Typically there are three lanes on the highway, but usually cars form five lanes with the added animal crossings and people dodging the cars and tuk-tuks. On our four hour ride from Agra to Delhi, we stopped at a "washroom" and the power went out. We have learned this is very common in India and the locals didn't even flinch.