We drove to Agra and arrived in the late afternoon. We could go up to our hotel roof and look out at the Taj. We decided to get up at dawn to see the Taj, however the gates only opened at 6.20 and by that time it was already light.
The south gate and view of the Taj through the gateway.
The Taj Mahal is an immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after she died in giving birth to their 14th child.
The sun rises and casts a glow on the east side of the Taj. The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Its recognised architectonic beauty has a rhythmic combination of solids and voids, concave and convex and light shadow; such as arches and domes further increases the aesthetic aspect. The colour combination of lush green scape reddish pathway and blue sky over it showcases the monument in ever changing tints and moods.
The exquisite octagonal marble lattice screen encircling both cenotaphs is a piece of superb workmanship. It is highly polished and richly decorated with inlay work. The borders of the frames are inlaid with precious stones representing flowers executed with wonderful perfection.