#43 Complete – Visit the Taj Mahal at Sunrise

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We have a few items on our list of things to do in India While We’re Alive, and knew that 10 days wasn’t going to be enough to experience all of it.  For our first trip to India, we had to pick and choose, knowing that we’d be back one day to complete the others.  Visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra is a must.  We knew that, and it’s been on our list for quite some time now.  After all, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and everyone knows how much we love those.  Most people who visit the Taj Mahal come in on a day trip from Delhi or Jaipur, arriving in the early afternoon and often staying until sunset before moving on to their next destination.  We wanted to make the best of the smaller morning crowds, and the only way to do that would be to spend a night in Agra.

We arrived into Agra on the Taj Express from Delhi, and in a matter of minutes we had hired a rickshaw driver for the day (1000 rupees).  Much to our demise, we ended up doing the regular tourist route around town, but managed to learn about Hotel Kamal’s rooftop restaurant for cheap eats while enjoying a sunset view of the Taj (and a few theatrics from the local monkeys).  While the hotel is nothing to write home about, the rooftop serves its purpose well, and should not be missed!

Apparently you can’t actually visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise.  Well, not in October anyway.  While we arrived at the gate shortly before 6:00 am, the doors didn’t open until 6:30, which was well after the sun had already peeked out over the horizon.  So, while we were technically AT the Taj Mahal for sunrise, we weren’t actually AT the Taj Mahal for sunrise, if that makes any sense.  No big deal though, because it wasn’t until about 9:00 that we really started to get the pictures we had come so far for.

Simply stated, the Taj Mahal is stunning.  We were actually expecting to be disappointed with it because of all of the hype it gets, but we weren’t.  The Taj really is a special place.  We came for the pictures, but left with so much more.  We could’ve spent the entire day there.  Days, actually.  Maybe even weeks.  It’s really difficult to explain what it’s like to just sit, and watch, and listen at the Taj.  The people watching is like no other, from snap-happy tour package foreigners, to locals who have come from long and far to see it for the first time.  Even without the crowds, the appearance of the Taj itself changes by the minute as the sun and clouds go about their daily business.

It’s easy to leave the Taj with a bad taste in your mouth, and never wanting to return.  The line-ups are long.  Security is tight.  It’s ridiculously HOT!  Video cameras are not allowed past the red bricks (don’t ask).  Group tour leaders push you off of “their bench” for photo ops.  People constantly get in the way of your “perfect” photo.  Simply stated, the Taj Mahal can be overwhelming.  That’s why you’ve got to find yourself a shady bench, sit back, and just soak it all in.  You won’t regret it!!

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Taj Mahal - Agra - India 02 Taj Mahal - Agra - India 01

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Categories: India, While We're Alive

Author:Thomas & Katherine

A love for travel, adventure, and photography. We just can't help but write about it!

3 Comments on “#43 Complete – Visit the Taj Mahal at Sunrise”

  1. Joanne Hall
    November 2, 2015 at 1:08 am #

    Incredible photos, you guys! Loved them. The hint of pink still in the sky in some of them is fabulous, and the reflection of the Taj Mahal in the water is lovely. The brightly coloured garments of the people also so beautiful. Wow! See you living your dream and we are cheering you on.

    Like

  2. Evelyn
    November 18, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    Thanks for the great photos your experience and for sharing these amazing views. :)
    Follow your dreams!

    Liked by 1 person

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