Travel

Gallery: Agra, India

Sometimes visiting a very famous place can be a little underwhelming. You’re expectations are so high that you can’t help but feel a bit of an anti-climax. As famous monuments go, the Taj Mahal is up there with the best of them and I was a little worried that it wouldn’t live up to the vision in my mind.

Luckily it did, and then some. Getting there first thing in the morning added to the magical experience. The anticipation began to build as we queued in the dark, drinking delicious chai from clay cups. When the gates opened, the excitement took over and everybody ran to get the first glimpse of this beautiful building. It was one of those ‘I can’t believe I’m here’ feelings.

My favourite moment at the Taj Mahal, however, came later in the afternoon when we returned after a day of sightseeing to view it from across the Yamuna River. You can stroll along a wall at the edge of the river or simply relax on the grass and take it all in. This is a truly peaceful way to see the Taj Mahal with hardly anyone else around.

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The Taj Mahal
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One of many viewpoints.
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The archways of one of two red sandstone buildings that stand either side of the Taj Mahal.
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You just can’t avoid monkeys in India!
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A close-up of the Taj Mahal’s ornate decoration – flowers carved into the white marble.
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Parchin Kari – the inlay technique to incorporate precious stones into the marble. Here you can see where some of the stones have been chipped out and stolen.
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Gate to Agra Fort
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Agra Fort
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Agra Fort
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Keeping an eye on the tourists!
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A misty Taj Mahal seen from Agra Fort
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Tomb of I’Timad-ud-Daulah, also known as the ‘Baby Taj’.
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The Taj Mahal as seen from across the Yamuna River
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My favourite view of the Taj Mahal, as seen from across the Yamuna River.
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Foundations opposite the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River.
  • Top tip: Arrive at the Taj Mahal as soon as it opens (6am when I visited in April) so you can enjoy a few moments of peace and quiet before it gets crowded.
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