Carrie and I look out at the Taj Majal
Carrie and I look out at the Taj Majal

“Do we really have to go? It’s so far away!” and “Can we really come to India and not see the Taj Majal?” were questions we wrestled with for a few weeks before deciding that no matter how out of our way Agra was, we had to see it. Once there we couldn’t have been happier with our decision. Arriving at night, we first roamed the quite ugly town of Agra trying to see the Taj by the full moon. We were told that we needed to have tickets, only available early in the day and costing $15, to stand on a platform in the middle of the complex and stare at the building in the moon light. Pretty cool except we couldn’t get tickets and it was too foggy to see anything anyway.

Here it is...the most famous building in India...the Taj Majal
Here it is...the most famous building in India...the Taj Majal

The next day we paid the outlandish $15 entrance fee (the locals pay 40 cents) and joined thousands of fellow travelers in complete awe of this famous building. There isn’t actually much to do or see in the complex, but much like at the Pyramids or the Eiffel Tower I could spend a whole day getting lost gazing at the architectural marvel in front of me. Sadly, we only had three hours there, but I can safely say that no photo will ever do it justice. Every inch of the building is covered in intricate carvings and details and the throngs of tourists seem like ants compared to the Taj itself. According to legend, after completing construction the builder had the hands of all the workers chopped off so that they could not ever create anything as grand. I believe it!

Share the Journey

  • Ibn Batuta

    The Taj was the peak of our recent trip to India (March 09). We were there in the late afternoon and we enjoyed greatly the changing colors of this beautiful edifice. It is definitely a work of love, not only of Emperor Shah Jahan and every lowly artisan involved.
    It is worth every pence spent getting there!
    It is unfortunate that the UP authorities give so little attention to the city which is ugly, congested and filthy. Roads leading to Agra are a disgrace. india needs to do more to attract tourists to go to Agra and stay for more than the time needed to visit Taj. The Agra fort and other Mughal buildings deserve more attention.