The Taj Mahal framed in the engrailed archway of the eastern outbuilding.
By 7:30 a.m, the light has changed to give the Taj Mahal a glow from the translucent marble.
The Taj Mahal with the scaffolding digitally removed. Agra, India
Ornate and intricately carved western iwan (doorway) of the Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal up close
Giving the Taj Mahal some scale. Standing at the very edge of the surrounding plinth and this is all I can capture with my lens at its widest.
Giving the Taj Mahal a little scale with people in the corner.
Entrance to the Taj Mahal.
As we passed through the entrance, we begin to see the Taj Mahal shrink in the archway. It's a neat optical illusion and one of many.
At 5:30 a.m, the sun hasn't really come out from behind the clouds. A different flatt light is cast on it.
Minarets of the Taj Mahal in scaffolding as seen from the beautiful gardens surrounding it.
The central, or south facing entrance of the Taj Mahal
Cleaning the minarets.
One of two symmetrical buildings that flank the Taj Mahal. This one is called the mosque.
Walking up to the Taj Mahal over centuries-worn sandstone and marble tiles. Note the booties over Sheri's and our guide's shoes.
The only minaret not encased in scaffolding has been cleaned.
Another view of the Taj Mahal's northeast corner.
The shadow of the Taj Mahal falls on the mosque to its west.
The minaret isn't dingy because of the 400 years of grimy deposits, that's from the clay mud that's been applied to remove the dirt. Later, this will be washed off and the white marble will be clean.
The Great Gate, and main entrance, from the inside.
Taj Mahal's eastern side and northeastern minaret.
Taj Mahal framed in the archway of the eastern outbuilding.
Parrot perched on a tapestry ring.
Another view of the Taj Mahal
Even in the hot off-season, crowds are the norm.
Brick kiln along the highway from Jaipur to Jodhpur
Chand Baori, a step well in the village of Abhaneri near Bandikui, Rajasthan
Chand Baori with Sheri on the far side to give it some scale.