So this morning I got up early and left for Agra. It is only about 120km or so, but it takes nearly 5 hours due to the roads and traffic. About a half hour outside Agra I stop first at Fatehpur Sikri. This is a large mosque and palace. Very impressive architecture.
Then I decide to go straight to the Taj Mahal before it gets too dark. As I am walking up I get a faint view of the top of the dome and my anticipation starts to build. I meander through the crowds and go through the dark entrance gate seeing my first full view. WOW what an amazing sight! The Taj sits so beautifully at the end of a long pool of water. The only backdrop is the blue sky. I read somewhere it is referred to as a "Teardrop on the face of eternity". It is so breathtaking in its stunning white marble. The light is sunlight is hitting it perfectly, although it is supposedly beautiful at any time of day.
I end up taking upwards of 80 or so photos. I find it is just so photogenic you could snap photos of it all day. The Taj is absolutely huge too. People are like ants at the base of it walking about. What an amazing structure build solely as a tomb to Shah Jahan's beloved wife! it took 20,000 people 22 years to build. It reminded me of the pyramids of Egypt.
I stay to watch the sun almost set and watch the Taj slightly change colors, chatting with a woman from the UK, I think, here for a charity. I don't want to be leaving in pure dark, as I have to go quite a ways to get back to the driver. So I sadly pull myself away and venture back to reality. What an impression a single building can have on you!