India - The Taj Mahal

Clearly, the Taj Mahal is a 'must do' on a visit to India.  We opted to do a day trip from Delhi to avoid the logistical challenges of dealing with luggage on the train for a second time (the first was our trip Jaipur from Gurgaon).  It's about a 2 hour train ride from Delhi to Agra.  A train departs early at about 6 am with a return at about 8:30 pm.  We negotiated for a cab driver for the day for about 700 rupees.  It was helpful not to have to worry about sourcing a ride at each attraction.  We arrived at the Taj Mahal, went through security and were confronted with a lovely red-brown brick structure.

We approached and admired the arch and floral decoration.
Looking through, we got our first glimpse of the Taj.
We emerged and were simply amazed to be standing in front of a structure that is famous the world over.  It is really quite impressive in person.
There were tons of tourists about although since we arrived early, the crowds weren't too bad.  We noticed from across the river later in the day that the place was simply thronging with people. I definitely recommend to get there early.  I had to laugh.  One guy wanted us to take his picture with his bald head substituting for the grand dome of the Taj.
We drew closer and closer.
To walk upon the marble, we had to don shoe covers provided just outside the ticket booth. Others opted to remove their shoes entirely.
The white marble gleamed in the sun.
Small red-brown buildings flanked two sides of the Taj.
Arabic script ran up the side of the entrance.
Floral accents were embedded in the marble.
We looked out back over the Yamuna River.
We went inside the Taj and peeked out through the lattice windows.
We ambled over to one of the small red side buildings for a look around.
Once again, we could see the white glory of the Taj Mahal through the entrance.
We completed our circuit of the Taj to admire the building from all sides.
We completed our tour and exited the way we had come in.  It's amazing the lengths that Mughal emperor Shah Mahan went to to commemorate the death of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Later in the day, our driver took us across the river to a park where we could get an alternative view of the Taj.
Tourists and locals alike came out to watch the sunset.
Some kind of excavation (rumored to be the base of the Taj Mahal's twin) sat in the center of the park.
We caught a couple last minute glances across the grass at the Taj before heading back to the train station for our return to Delhi.



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Sidewalk Safari: India - The Taj Mahal
India - The Taj Mahal
Sidewalk Safari
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