India: Day 4- Agra- Taj Mahal

No trip to Northern India would be complete without a visit to one of the 7 man made wonders of the world


I am not a morning person, in fact it goes without saying that given the choice I will happily stay in bed until lunchtime.

We had been well briefed by our guide the day before and had agreed that our visit to the Taj Mahal should be at sunrise. This had two advantages in that we had a chance of seeing it in spectacular light, it would be a cooler time of day and hopefully- it would also be much quieter than peak visiting time.

Dragging myself out of bed was surprisingly easy thanks to the anticipation of visiting one of the most iconic landmarks there is, an early night probably helped too. Our driver took us to the site and we then boarded a shuttle to the gates. Our guide collected our tickets, complimentary water and shoe covers whilst we joined the queue. Like many sites in India, men and women have to enter religious sites through separate entrances, I struggle a little with the idea of maintaining this sort of segregation but that’s a story for another day.

It was a misty morning and our guide explained that we might not get the view we were expecting. He was not wrong but as it turned out, what we did get was spectacular. Some moments felt very ‘Silent Hill’ but the overall feeling was a very calming one. We took an initial walk around the grounds before going inside.¬†

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Its really hard to describe what it feels like to stand in front of such an iconic building with an eerie mist rising around it. Photography is not allowed within the centre of building surrounding the tombs but it is spectacular- one of the most notable things for me was to see an imperfect section of marble that was purposefully included into the design as a means to show that true perfection is not something that can be built.

There isn’t a lot to write about the Taj, it has a well documented history that is easily googled, a photo can’t capture what it’s really like but hopefully it’s an indicator as to what it feels like to be there.

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It might not be the beaming blue skies of the middle of the day or vibrant oranges of a sunrise or sunset but we were completely taken aback to watch this huge megastructure appear through the mist.

Visit completed and we headed back to the hotel for breakfast before embarking upon a 5 hour drive to our next destination- Ramathra, a small village outside of Karauli 

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