Mughal mosque

Kabutar and mosque

The mosque to the west of the Taj Mahal is a superb example of Mughal-era architecture. And it’s too often ignored by tourists who are focused on the gorgeous monument just to the east.

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You can’t stop staring

Stunning

The Taj Mahal, western elevation, from the archway of the adjacent mosque.

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Quiet sunrise, empty mosque

Sweeping out the dust

At sunrise, as the tourists shuffle into the Taj Mahal complex, the mosque to the west is nearly quiet. Except for a few wanderers and the caretaker. Photos below.

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Solitary prayer

Worship in your own way

At about 7 a.m., we were in the crowds of people streaming into the Taj Mahal for the glory of sunrise. Most tourists make straight for the Taj itself, to admire the monument as the marble changes in the warming light.

After a quick stroll around the gardens, I made for my favorite spot in the Taj complex, the western mosque. There I sat for the better part of an hour to meditate and pray. Other than a few pilgrims (like the one above), some dying bees and a man cleaning the mosque floor, I was alone.

Peace.

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He put up a good fight

In the throes of death

The eaves at the Taj Mahal mosque are home to bee hives. Hence, the floors at the Taj Mahal mosque are home to worn-out worker bees looking for a peaceful place to die.

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