The journey to Agra from Delhi by car is not one that I would want to experience again. The filth and poverty was overwhelming. There are things I saw that I never hope to again. We left the haveli in Delhi at 5am to make the 4 hour trip. Visiting the Taj Mahal was not high on my list of priorities in coming to India but I also knew that the chances of seeing it again would be slim. The staff at the little haveli packed a breakfast - hard boiled eggs - bananas, some brown bread and a bottle of water. When we came down the stairs in the haveli it was clear one of the members of the kitchen had camped out on the floor the night previous to be there to make us the breakfast and see us on our way. In my experience this has been the way almost the entire trip. The Indian people have really been spectacular. Our driver - Raj was a sweet man of 22 years old and drove so very carefully that the drive was not a scary one.
Upon entering the Taj Mahal complex - once again amazed at the vastness. Seeing her for the first time gave me the chills. She is floating on the water - in the air. The weather was amazing this day. Sunny and 25 degrees and walking around in the peaceful gardens made you feel like you were in heaven on earth. The story is indeed a sad one - emporer Shah Jahan building this tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz when she died at the age of 39 while giving birth to their 14th child. I purchased the book in the expat market entitled "Tear Drop on the Cheek of Time" to gain a better understanding of the story and have since learned that many of places we have visitied were also tombs of relatives of Shah Jahan. I have become a little intrigued.
Visiting the Taj Mahal was the last of the touristy type activities.
So far loving India.