In Part II, I’d like to take you along for our morning tour of the Taj Mahal.
Starting out, we stopped ~1.5 km away from the entrance to purchase tickets, Rs1000/person (the foreigner price is always 10x higher) and took an electric cart to the East Gate entrance. Arriving at 6:40am the security line was short even though it opened earlier around 6:00am for sunrise. Entry time varies with the sunrise.
Security was thorough and no issues given I had read ahead of time the long list of what you can’t bring in. I entered with my two cameras and three lenses without issue. Note for Photographers: No tripod (or any size), monopod, batteries, paper, pens, cords (of any kind)…
This is the view looking back at the East Gate and 2+ hours later to be our exit point. You can see the sun trying to pop through the clouds and it did to reveal striking cloud formations.
Walking straight ahead to the right is the main entrance and your first impression of the exquisite craftsmanship with no expense barred and years of meticulous labor required.
Here we are ready to enter the main entrance, what a sight to behold.
Now the main attraction. The crowds were light given the 46C (114F) yesterday, i.e. the off season. Normally, they get 30k tourists/day. Walking past the small crowd at the entrance and over to the reflection pools where JDR struck her pose.
The infamous, obligatory bench shot.
Now to get down and low for the reflection pool shot. Need to work the water color and stain later.
Took the left hand path towards the Taj putting on our shoe covers to enter the mausoleum.
Every Friday the Taj Mahal is closed to the public with worshipers visiting this active Mosque to the left (west side pointing towards Mecca).
Now we enter the mausoleum where no photos are allowed. Walking around the two replicate crypts (actuals located directly below and not visible to the public), we get a close-up look at the intricate details carved into the marble.
Notice the symmetry geometric designs carved in the white marble with inlaid gems / precious stones imported from all over the world back in the 17th century. Still to this day the craft continues for restoration.
As you exit the inner mausoleum area, the light rays entering from the marble carved lattice windows are a sight to behold.
Now we exit the backside on the river side. Three of four minarets are undergoing restoration to remove air-borne pollutants and reveal the white marble to it’s original color. I understand that a local mud is used to cover and pull out the white color. The one minaret looks beautiful afters its restoration.
Around to the right for a great sunrise shining on the marble structure.
Down the stairs for another view of the Taj Mahal’s various structures.
Here we exit the main area from this simple door, turn left and exit the Taj Mahal.
Oh yes, one day late and a dollar short.
Still to complete Part II of the Jaipur to Agra road trip, coming soon.