Taj Mahal – one of the Seven Wonders of the World – check! :)
According to a hotel manager, it was raining in Agra for the last five days (monsoon season). The first dry morning was the only morning I stayed in Agra… So I thanked God for the opportunity to photograph Sunrise at Taj Mahal and got there for the gate opening. The photos of Taj, however, have come out totally different from the ones I pictured in my head. A hundred visitors entered the site at 6AM (the opening time). The tourists were everywhere! standing in “hot spots”, taking pictures of e-v-e-r-y t-h-i-n-g. Damn tourists! ;) Other few hundred visitors arrived in the next thirty minutes, another thousand within next hour, etc. Statistically, 7,000-10,000 visit Taj Mahal daily. Well, it wasn’t raining till 9AM.
The glorious Taj Mahal mausoleum is a tribute to the beauty of women. In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire’s period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan’s grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later.