This week-long Golden Triangle itinerary is a great introduction to India’s glittering royal history and culture, including the iconic Taj Mahal, the magnificent forts and palaces of Jaipur and India’s bustling capital city of Delhi.
The changing face of the Taj Mahal
Almost all of our travellers to Rajasthan and The Golden Triangle have one image on their mind when they think of India: the Taj Mahal. It is a magnificent building, much larger than you expect and simply cannot disappoint.
Just before the sun rises, the Taj has a powder blue, grey feel to it. Everything looks soft and what I really like is how the curves of the dome and minarets have a slight orange glow to them, hinting at the sunrise.
Now the sun is up in the sky, there is more contrast with the light and the dark. The Glow of the sun paints far more orange tones on the curves while the darker areas are cast in shadow. I remember being alone in the gardens at this time and the Taj Mahal had the look of a dark, brooding monument, just being discovered in the darkness.
That classic Taj Mahal white comes through at around 9-10am, about the time most tour groups arrive. While it looks fantastic, I always recommend getting to the Taj at 0700 so that you get to see the changes beforehand, and almost all of our trips will give travellers the chance to do this!
As the light fades and sun sets, you have your best chance of the classic ‘pink’ Taj. This is especially prevalent in the monsoon season of June-September as the clouds take on the colour of the sunset and beam it back down on the Taj. A stunning spectacle.
Later in the evening as darkness rolls in, the Taj takes on a rusty colour, which for me is one of the most dramatic, again from across the river this is reflected in front of you and looks very special indeed.
The last sun
Just before the sun sets, the Taj turns almost bronze. Here I felt that with the contrast of light and dark more pronounced than the morning light, the building takes on an almost hollow, cocooned appearance that is about as far as you can get from the stark white of the midday sun! There are many, many more colours you can experience at the Taj Mahal, every hint of change in the environment affects the mood of the building, which is why I think its so important that visitors see it in both the morning and evening, and has been attracting visitors for over 300 years!