“Let the splendor of diamond, pearl, and ruby vanish like the magic shimmer of the rainbow. Only let this one tear-drop, this Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and ever.”
– By Rabindranath Tagore, from “One Hundred and One Poems by Rabindranath Tagore”
For all the images I have seen of the Taj Mahal, nothing prepared me for seeing it for myself. The morning light shifts and dances off the white marbel. The haze clears and the Taj Mahal emerges, seemingly becoming sharper and more into focus. This national treasure’s name means “Crown of Buildings”, and it sits on the banks of the Yamuna River in Agra, India. It took seventeen years to complete the mausoleum, and it was finally completed in 1648 by a team of over twenty thousand workers. It is incredible in scale and perfection (although our guide pointed out some very subtle and deliberate imperfections to us).
Sonia’s tips for visiting the Taj Mahal…
- Don’t plan to visit on a Friday as it is closed.
- Sunrise is magical, but actually arriving just after sunrise is perfectly fine as the lines have cleared and the people have moved through. The Taj is open sunrise to sunset, so just after sunrise is perfect. Great light, but plenty of room to move and take those wonderful bucketlist snaps.
- Do go with a guide. A good guide’s knowledge and insightfulness is invaluable – they can give you context and explain the history of the Taj Mahal, as well as share their insider knowledge and show you the perfect photo spot! I highly recommend Abercrombie & Kent for your land arrangments in India.