Taj Mahal, Finally!


The Taj Mahal tour was slated at 6 am, touted as sunrise tour but with an asterisk. You know all the "sunrise" is dependent on the weather of course. It turned out we did not see the sunrise but it didn't matter.

Jetlag caused me to be up most of the night, which was why both the hubs and I were up and ready way before the 6 am call. Jana our superb guide from the previous day (Sikandra and Agra Fort tours) was calling at quarter before 6 am. The tours here are never late.

As it turned out, we needed to get our tickets at the Tourism Office, which is a few blocks from our hotel and only a short walk. It was so pleasant to walk along the almost empty road, in cool early morning breeze with an herd of cow sharing the road.

A trolley from the Tourism Office took us to the Gate of Taj Mahal. I was dumbfounded to learn that the Taj Mahal is inside a complex. You see from the many many photos online of this famous landmark, I have never gather that there were other structures besides the Taj Mahal. Or I was totally clueless! I thought the Taj Mahal sits by its lonesome in a patch of land somewhere in the middle of Agra. How little do I know!

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Agra still asleep

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The East Gate

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Sign

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Inside the East Gate

That is why it was such a surprise to me when I had to line up in the women's line to get inside the complex. We entered via the East Gate. We went through a security check akin to what one goes thru at the airports. Except here they were particular about not bringing in gum. Yes, gum! The gums were captured by the vigilant guards.
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The West Gate in the distance.

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Arches and dome.

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The Great Gate, the main entrance to the tomb.

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Very detailed.

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There she is!

Taj Mahal is more than words can express. It is such an engineering and architectural wonder. The compound is simply fantastic. The Mughal architecture is simply to die for. There are four gates, signifying the four directions and each one is the exact copy of the other. Symmetry is one of the major detail in this type of architecture.

The gates alone are replete with many many wonderful detailing. I could not get enough at looking at all the splendid detail. The plan to come at 6 am was brilliant. One, the weather was still manageable. Two, the crowd was not as thick as it would be later in the day.

Taking a first look at the white marble that shines in the gloomy cover of the skies make one thank the heavens above for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I could not help but choke up a bit for this chance to glance at another wonder of the world. Who would have thought that I would be here today standing in front of the most romantic testament of love and devotion.

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I understand that a post about Taj Mahal and the outlying buildings, not to mention the people watching photo opportunities, would require more than one entry. That is what I'm going to do. Gives me more time to get all the photos together.

........to be continued.

SIGNS, SIGNS




Comments

  1. THANKS for my free trip to the Taj Mahal! Haha. Para akong kasama sa biyahe sa description mo ng mga nakita mo.

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  2. To see it all through you eyes is a real treat, Maria. I can just imagine what the experience must have felt like!

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  3. I do agree symmetry is beauty and that is shown in your photos of the Taj. Interesting photos and of course the signs are something we wouldn't want to miss every time we visit a place.

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  4. Beautiful! Lucky you! But I totally understand about the gum. It costs megabucks to clean that awful stuff off cement, rocks...

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  5. Wow, this is such a privilege to see your wonderful images! The Taj Mahal is quite a magnificent building. I love your close-up views showing the detail work.

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  6. thank you for sharing this Taj Mahal experience. it's absolutely beautiful--and your photos are gorgeous!

    looking forward to more of your Taj Mahal posts.:p

    Signs

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  7. I too thought that it sat alone on a wide open landscape! Fabulous tour you gave us.

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  8. I'm surprised at the mountain of signs and vending machines at the entrance of such a grand historic building! What a feast for the eyes is the actual Taj Mahal!

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  9. taj mahal is super stunning .. nung lumapit kau its so huge pala tlga

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  10. Thank you very much for this journey !

    Please have a wonderful Thursday.


    daily athens photo

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  11. Wow - what great photos! Thanks for a close and personal tour of this great wonder!

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  12. This is more than an architectural gem. Its magnificence is truly stunning.

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  13. Stunning architecture and your pictures captured it quite exquisitely!

    I was so young (I was about 6 yrs old) when we were there so I hardly remember. According to my mom when we visited it in the 1970s it was almost in a state of abandon. I'm glad they refurbished later.

    Now it is quite splendid! :D

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  14. Thank you for taking us with you on your trip to the Taj Mahal. It's in my dream destination list, too. What an impressive structure!


    Inside Cambodia

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  15. This place is unique and your photos do it justice. However I was a bit disappointed when a I visited because the magic was gone due to overcrowdind. Kids were drinking cokes and running everywhere, it looked like I was in Disneyland. What a pity!

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  16. You've made an excellent start to this tour. It's very interesting to see your fine shots and read of the process. No gum was a real surprise.

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  17. stunning...i would love to see this with my own eyes someday.

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  18. The symmetry and exquisite detail of this architecture is stunning and awesome (in the truest sense of the word!). and getting there so early means you can have more time to admire!

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  19. I've never seen the streets and gates leading up to the Taj Mahal, thanks for this wonderful post
    I feel like I was there

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  20. Thank you for sharing the wonderful photos of Taj Mahal. I could almost imagine myself walking along with you. The architecture is remarkable. The details of the structures reflect creativity and perfection.

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  21. the place is just HUGE!
    speechless like you,
    i can see why the gum thing is such an issue.
    the macro shots,
    the inlaid details, the clean white marble... just beautiful.
    can't wait to see more and i doubt that i'd get tired seeing this.

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  22. I also remember the very strict guards: asking me to fire off my flash unit and warning me not to use my iPod!

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  23. so amazing! i highly doubt that's a sight I'll ever get to experience with my own eyes so thanks for sharing how it looked through yours.

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  24. Thanks for sharing this with us.
    If u Want to Visit India for the first time. Have a look at India's Most Famous Tour In India,Golden Triangle Tour 4 Days for holiday package. In this 4 days you can explore India's Golden cities delhi agra & jaipur.

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