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GLEMBA Class of 2016 Tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Red Fort

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Back row, left to right: Steven Castaneda, Andy Miller, Aaron Graham and Dan Larson. Front row, left to right: Lisa Klugiewicz, Thandee Maung, Veronica Vazquez, Katie Boyle and Tooran Khosh

Today, (April 24) our Global Leadership Executive MBA (GLEMBA) class took a tour of the Taj Mahal and Agra Red Fort in the city of Agra, India. The Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, means “Crown Place.” To protect the Taj Mahal, there are no industries in the city of Agra. The traffic and economic health of the City of Agra and of the City of New Delhi is an immediate contrast. Our tour guide, Mr. Arun, explained that the Taj Mahal, a mausoleum on the bank of the Yamuna River, was constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for the tomb of his third wife. After going through security check, we toured the Taj inside and outside, and took photos with the GLEMBA class.

Artisans at work on the inlay technique known as pietra dura.

Dr. David Springate, the GLEMBA academic director, and Rhonda Bush, the assistant program director, welcomed the GLEMBA class during the lunch reception at beautiful Jaypee Palace Hotel before heading to the Agra Fort. The tour guide, Mr. Arun, explained that the name “red fort” comes from the red sandstone exterior walls, which Shah Jahan had constructed as the main residence of the emperors. Shah Jahan was placed under house arrest in the Agra Fort by his son after his son took control of the throne. After Shah Jahan died, his body was moved to the Taj Mahal and interred beside his wife’s tomb.

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Kalakriti to enjoy handcrafted Indian original artwork in Agra. We were shown the process of inlay artwork on marble, a technique known by the name pietra dura.

During the bus ride, we learned from Mr. Arun a few tips on how to handle pushy street vendors spotting outsiders and following them until they sell something. We also learned a few Hindi words to use while staying in India. Namaste is a respectful form of greeting that can take place at any time of the day. Dhabyabad is thank you, and phir milenge means “see you soon.” Today was full of adventure and a kickoff to start our international tour in India.

Tooran Khosh

Tooran established Khosh Enterprises in 2009 in Austin, Texas, offering project management practices to enhance productivity in business operations and to improve efficiency in organizational processes. In addition to being an adjunct professor, Tooran is engaged in project and portfolio management for public and private organizations providing consulting, training and workshops. Tooran is a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in Texas, certified project manager professional (PMP), LEED-AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design professional) and certified ISO lead auditor. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of London, England; a master’s degree environmental management from the University of Denver, CO, and is currently pursuing her executive MBA at The University of Texas at Dallas. Read more articles

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