AsiaIndiaAgra

Morning at the Taj Mahal.

Agra Travel Blog

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Enjoying the river view from the Taj Mahal.
I got up at 5:30am and was dismayed to see it was already light out. We had hoped to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise! Turns out there really isn’t much of a sunrise anyway, due to all the haze. But the morning is still a good time to go: you avoid the large crowds and beat the heat!

The Taj Mahal is literally right down the street from the hotel. We accepted a ride on the hotel golf cart and arrived at the East Gate at about 6:15am. The entrance fee was 750 rupees (about $17.50) per person. There weren’t large lines, but there were a good number of visitors already there. There was a tourist pile up at the entrance to get that iconic shot through the arched entrance gate. 

The Taj Mahal is actually a monument and mausoleum, built by Shah Jahan for his favorite wife who died in childbirth.
I took more photos of the colorful dresses than I did of the Taj Mahal!
It reportedly took an army of 20,000 laborers 17 years to complete (construction began 1632), and the resulting structure is suitably fabulous -- we have all seen many photos… as with just about everything, it’s even better in person! When the Taj was completed, Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son for overspending. He spent his last years imprisoned in one of his own creations…but at least he had a clear view of the Taj Mahal from his prison.  

We wandered the grounds for quite some time, finally departing at about 9:30am. As we exited, we were acosted by touts trying to sell everything from postcards to shoes. Everyone wanted to give us a ride, and didn’t seem to believe us when we said we didn’t need one. The hawkers don’t take NO, THANK YOU for an answer, and one really annoying young boy persisted in following us almost all the way back to the hotel!  

For the rest of the day, we basically hibernated at the hotel.
Steve enjoys a cold one by the pool.
We got lots of work done at our computers, had workouts in the fitness room, and drank beer by the pool in the evening when it got cool out. For dinner, we considered ordering McDonald’s (they deliver!) to avoid another $150 meal at the restaurant. In the end, we ate leftover sandwiches from lunch, and ordered relatively inexpensive salads from room service.

It’s nice to have a splurge here in Agra, but tomorrow we will need to join the Real World again. We are off to Dubai! (Wait, is that considered the “real world”? Skiing in the desert? Outlandish hotels and shopping malls? Maybe not…!)

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Enjoying the river view from the T…
Enjoying the river view from the …
I took more photos of the colorful…
I took more photos of the colorfu…
Steve enjoys a cold one by the poo…
Steve enjoys a cold one by the po…
The Taj Mahal as viewed from the e…
The Taj Mahal as viewed from the …
Just had to do it.
Just had to do it.
Taj Mahal. Just as spectacular in …
Taj Mahal. Just as spectacular in…
At the Taj Mahal.
At the Taj Mahal.
River view from the Taj Mahal.
River view from the Taj Mahal.
The south mosque at the Taj Mahal.
The south mosque at the Taj Mahal.
The outer wall of the Taj Mahal.
The outer wall of the Taj Mahal.
The red building north of the Taj …
The red building north of the Taj…
Here we are at the Taj!
Here we are at the Taj!
Taj Mahal side building.
Taj Mahal side building.
Visitors at the Taj Mahal.
Visitors at the Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal, detail of the dome.
Taj Mahal, detail of the dome.
Out hotels ostentatious pool area!
Out hotel's ostentatious pool area!
Pool at the Oberoi Amarvilas.
Pool at the Oberoi Amarvilas.
Dusk. Oberoi Amarvilas.
Dusk. Oberoi Amarvilas.
Agra
photo by: rotorhead85