If there is one building that carries a load of expectation on its shoulders (roof? dome?), that would be the Taj Mahal. Only good is ever spoken of this Wonder of the World, so I naturally wondered if it would live up to its expectations.
[First glimpse of the Taj Mahal]
Walking through the gate and glancing upon the building for the first time I was more struck with its familiarity than its beauty. I had a similar sensation when seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time. It was like I have seen it every other day of my life. It didn’t take long though to appreciate what a remarkable beauty this building is.
[The classic view of Taj Mahal]
Up close the detail of the carvings in the marble is revealed as well as an appreciation for how big this mausoleum is. And to think it was built in only 20 years, having been completed around 1653.
[Taj Mahal up close]
Other Places To View The Taj Mahal
I was surprised how built up the area is around the Taj Mahal. I had envisioned the area to be surrounded by parks and boulevards, instead it is surrounded by a busy old town area. What is even more surprising is this area is dominated by budget guesthouses. If this was in China the area would have been demolished years ago, and 5 star hotels would flank the perimeter. But this is India, so for now budget travellers can stay within a 5 minute walk of the Taj for less than $10 a night. Yay! Many of the guesthouses have roof top cafes which boast views of the Taj. I went up to the Shanti Lodge guesthouse cafe, and this was the view I had while having breakfast.
[Roof top view of the Taj Mahal]
away from the Taj area there is a good view from Agra Fort, which has a clear view along the river.
[Taj Mahal from Agra Fort]
Also from the other side of the river there is a park that mirrors the park of the Taj Mahal.
At the leaning tower of Pisa the classic shot is of trying to push over the tower. Here the favourite shot is to pinch the roof with your fingers as if you are gently lifting it up. I opted for the classic postcard shot.
Travel Photos: Taj Mahal Photo Gallery