Nothing quite prepares you for the beautiful grandeur of the Taj Mahal… The “jewel” in the tourism crown of India, this marble structure situated in an unremarkable town by an even less attractive river is visited by over 3 million a year and has been World Heritage listed since the 80’s.

We made an attempt to beat the crowds, arriving before dawn but security sent us both back for prohibited items (a hard drive?! and some chocolate). An hour or so later we finally made it in but it was well worth the wait.

The first glimpse is not unlike that moment you see Uluru from the highway 50 km away – it’s an image we’ve all seen, but it still puts shivers down your spine and there it was in the soft morning light at the end of a shallow, still pond.

Everything about it is symmetrical perfection and the detail close-up is timeless.

It’s a hard thing to relate in words or indeed photographs, but worth the long journey to get here!

Off to Jaipur tonight…