The Global Life: India Unvarnished

Amid an influx of tourists, the subcontinent has managed to hold on to its character, flaws and all

Visitors to the Taj Mahal all confront the same eternal mystery: How could the people who fashioned the world's most serene monument to love also build on its doorstep one of the ugliest, filthiest and most cacophonous cities in existence? If the heartbroken Shah Jahan's mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal is everything India should be--spiritual, awesome, peaceful--Agra, with its choking traffic, litter-strewed dirt roads and throngs of grotesque beggars is everything it unfortunately still is. "This not what I expected," says Camilla, 22, a psychology student visiting from Sweden. "Not at all. I mean, you're in Indiayou've got to see...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!