Waking up before the sun rises is never fun. And I almost decided to skip sunrise at the Taj. But I dragged myself out of bed, half asleep, and poured myself into the bus. When we arrived it was still dark, and our guide told us to watch the Taj as the sun rose. I was wide awake when I saw the white marble changing colors before my eyes, and I was mesmerized.
Built as a symbol of love and devotion, the Taj is actually a mausoleum built in honor of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who died giving birth to their 14th child. Finished in 1654 after 22 years of construction, building the Taj nearly bankrupted India. When the Shah began preparing to build another mausoleum for himself, his son overthrew him and put him into prison to save the country from financial ruin.
*These pictures were scanned from film originals, so the quality is less than ideal.