Yes, the Taj Mahal is amazing. It is actually part of a complex with a mosque and guesthouse and there is also a fort with a marble mosque across the river. The Taj’s marble changes as the light changes. It contrasts beautifully with the red sandstone of the other structures. Both the marble and sandstone are indigenous to this area. Thousands and thousands of people from all over the world come daily. You have to take your shoes off or wear booties on them. The architecture is remarkable both inside and out. It is set in a lovely park with the familiar reflecting pool, which is actually a fountain. Knowing it is one man’s testimony to the love of one of his many wives, gives one pause.
The first glitch in our travel happened in the afternoon. We were scheduled to take the sleeper train from Agra to Varanasi. It was cancelled due to fog, which is common weather issue this time of year, particularly in the early morning and evening. Luckily, our faithful driver Vikrum was going back to Delhi and so we took the 5-hour ride with him. We stayed in Delhi for the night at the same hotel as the first night. It was Christmas Eve and it is a Radisson so we had carolers and even a Santa with a fancy dinner for the event that is really only celebrated by a small percentage ( somewhere around 2%) of Christians in India. Seemed rather surreal. We fly to Varanasi tomorrow.