We showed up bright and early for sunrise at the Taj. We were a little choked at the entrance price [750 rupees for foreigners (approx 22 Cdn) vs. 20 rupees (approx 6 Cdn)for Indians], but it had to be done!!!
It poured just as we got in, which was kind of neat. We had our huge umbrellas which made it fine, but the rain also held most people back at the entrance gate as they huddled for shelter. This meant we got clear shots of the Taj without the crowds. Yay!
We had to take our shoes off when we got up to the Taj and we slipped and sloshed our way on the white marble.
Well, the Taj is incredible. It is so beautiful!!! The amount of detail that went into the marble carvings was amazing. The carvings and designs on all four sides are identical. The backside of the Taj is bordered by a river, and the two sides have beautiful mausoleums bext to them. There is a long walkway and fountains leading up to the front of the Taj (as you see from any classic photo of the Taj).
Later in the morning, the sun came out, giving the Taj a majestic glow as it reflected off the white marble.
In the afternoon, we took a side trip down to see an old 'ghost town' -Fatehpur Sikri. It was the capital of the Mughal empire between 1571 and 1585. The architecture was beautiful. Many of the balconies and window screens and pillars had detailed carvings. Unfortunately, they built this city in an area that suffered from huge water shortages. The city was later abandoned because of this.
For sunset, we arrived back in Agra and went to the posh Amar Villas hotel. It's a 5-star hotel, with each room boasting a view of the Taj. We had a few drinks in the bar while we watched the sunset. It was wonderful.