The Taj Mahal -- at sunset

We went to see the Taj Mahal in the evening, arriving about 17:00. There were fairly long lines (one for ladies, one for gents) waiting for security (like at an airport), but we were through in only a few minutes. We estimated there were probably about 2000 people there, almost all Indians.

The crowds The view
Taj Mahal Taj Mahal
The closer you get, the more you realize how big it is
Pietra dura Taj Mahal
Pietra dura - inlaid marble Marble bas-relief
Marble jalli inside the Taj Mahal

Signs led us to believe that the interior was closed for renovation, but later we saw folks lined up to go in, so we did too. We were crammed into the inner chamber in total darkness. All we know was in there is what we took a flash picture of, a bit of jalli. But in spite of the crush, we did not have our pockets picked.

Since the building is a mausoleum, everyone was walking around barefoot, chatting and happy. People took family pictures in front of the building, a mother and daughter (we guessed) swung each other around at arms' length the way we'd seen young men do at a religious festival in Jaipur in 2006. Some young men, boys really, approached us and chatted a bit and were kidding us about something; we never figured out what, but they seemed friendly, so much so that they were happy to be photographed. They also spoke very good English.

Sunset Dancing women
The sun sets Dancing women
Colorful saris Pleasant young men
Colorful salwar kameez -
pajama, tunic and scarf
Pleasant young men

And what we had heard is true. After the sun has set, the building goes on glowing softly and warmly in the light reflected from the clouds. Beautiful!

The Taj Mahal just after sunset
The Taj Mahal just after sunset

Back to India 2007