The Taj Mahal is one of the world's greatest buildings so we were all anxious to see it. Peter is an architect and had even studied the building.
We were taken to an area a few hundred yards from the Taj entrance where we transferred to a free electric bus. Pollution is a major problem for the Taj Mahal and cars are not allowed close to the building.
To stop people defacing the building, you are not allowed to bring food or water which might contaminate the marble. You cannot bring your own water and are given a bottle of water so that the authorities know it is safe.
We stroll the last few yards to the ticket area. Johanna was having trouble with her twisted ankle and used a wheelchair.
We purchased our tickets and started off to the main gate.
We all have seen photos of the Taj yet rarely do we see photos of what else is there. This is the final gate to the Taj.
The Taj is surrounded by a wall.
Click on the photo to enlarge.
Lots of people.
A distant corner of the entrance courtyard with no people. It gets bypassed.
Layout of the Taj complex. We had entered at the lower right gate and the Taj is at the top.
Inlay at the entrance gate.
Finally as you pass through the gate, there it is and you can check another item off your bucket list.
However there is more to the complex than just the Taj.
Like everybody else, I took numerous snaps from slightly different perspectives, none of them particularly good. I hoped eventually in better light that something would come along.
There were lots of people posed for the usual 'holding up the Taj' photos.
Ladies who cleaned.
A dog had a drink from the pool.
There are lots of flowers.
I liked the green sari. It looked like most of the Indian ladies were wearing one of their better saris for the occasion.
Fortunately it was still fairly early and the number of tourists was not too bad.
One of the towers was being cleaned.
The Pavilions on either side seem to be for decoration.
Looking back to the entry gate.
The Taj is getting a major cleaning from all the pollution in Agra.
To actually go inside the Taj you have to wear plastic booties over your shoes.
Very elegant and not my feet.
The Taj is being progressively cleaned and here you can see the difference.
The foreign tourists who pay a lot more get to take a shortcut.
Walking on the marble floor surrounding the Taj.
Looking back towards the entrance.
No photos inside. It was quite plain inside and reasonably dark. The tombs you see inside are replicas of the real tombs that are at a lower level.
It would be worthwhile looking at the wiki article on the Taj to see pictures of the inside.
The Yamuna River. It is a tributary of the Ganges.
I think this was the site of the matching gardens on the other side of the river. Apparently there are good views of the Taj from there.
Every now and then you snap a photo and then realize there was a good photo in there somewhere.
And here it is of the school girls, one with an upraised leg.
Not much going on at the Jawab. It's function is architectural balance.
Glints of light from the Taj.
I walked off into the garden area to sit down and take a rest.
The outer wall.
To be honest, I doubt I would have taken a photo even if allowed.
A few armed guards patrolled discreetly.
Anna and Nan pushing Johanna in her wheel chair.
I wondered what this tree was so I looked it up.
Most people wait until the end of the day to get the good light. I saw clouds coming, took the photo and it turned out to be my best photo of the Taj.
A few minutes later the good light disappeared.