Our driver, Ravinder, had looked after us brilliantly in Delhi.
Today he was to take us to Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
It was a five-hour journey through busy traffic, variable roads and worsening weather.
During my first visit to India, the Taj Mahal was high on our must see list.
My family fulfilled this “tryst with destiny”.
I did not.
Though tantalisingly close to the Taj, I spent the allocated day completely unable to leave my hotel bathroom.
On this, my second visit, I watched what I was eating with greater care and, as we arrived in Agra, my bowels remained pleasingly quiescent.
But the same could not be said for the weather.
Unseasonal monsoon rains were falling so heavily that the long-awaited tour was still unattainable.
Again I spent my Taj-time in an hotel bedroom,
One step closer to the Taj Mahal, I reflected, than a bathroom.
The guide hired by Ravinder suggested we delay our scheduled early morning return to Delhi. We would all meet up again at 6:00 in the morning.
If it was dry, we might take our tour before breakfast, when the climate was cool and the site less crowded.
We awoke to some mist
But no rain.
The sheer size, perfect symmetry and breathtaking beauty of this monument to love and loss are staggering.
The Taj Mahal’s impact is almost overwhelming.
Its drama touches people in different ways.
But the experience remains unforgettable.
All photographs taken on this tour of the Taj Mahal.
Picture taken behind the Taj Mahal, on my north Indian travels.