sunrise and sunset at the taj mahal
So you want to visit the Taj Mahal? Well of course you do! Known as one of the seven wonders of the world, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the beautiful tomb in memory of his beloved third wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction began in 1632 and took 18 years to complete. It is an overwhelming site and a symbol of romantic love.
Overlooking the Yamuna River, the Taj Mahal stands on the Southern bank. Built using white marble the colours change throughout the day which is why we visited twice!
Arriving in Agra in the afternoon we asked our driver to pick us up just before sunset so we could gaze at the Taj Mahal on the Yamuna River. We expected crowds of tourists at the most famous site in India, however much to our delight we were the only ones there. Our driver found a boatman and we hobbled over the rickety wooden planks to sit and watch the changes of light as the sun went down. We were awe struck by its magnificent beauty. Our boatman sang us a romantic song as he pushed the ore through the water.
Tip: Look beyond the piles of litter at the banks of the river
It’s worth the early morning alarm, if only to beat the heat. From our hotel we walked down the road to buy our tickets. Expecting queues we left nice and early to find no one else there. We were followed by an annoying tuktuk man telling us there was no other way to get to the Taj except via his him. Ignoring him we got on the free bus from the ticket station taking us all the way to the gate. It took a little while to go through security as Lydia had to take out her sewing kit and pay for a locker. We walked through the well kept gardens to be greeted by the famous archway framing the Taj Mahal. A large crowd gathered at the centre point, many asked to have pictures with us saying we looked fantastic in our sari’s…why thank you! As we walked out of the Taj facing the Yamuna River we caught the attention of a large group of Indians. The ladies came over to redo our sari’s and we had photos with all of them.
We said goodbye to the Taj gone 9am with the heat of the day already soaring hot.