We only were at the Taj Mahal for a few hours. I did not book the Oberoi Hotel here, as it was $500 per night, and it was fully booked. We also visited the Red Fort,where the Marharaja and his family lived, and it was very worthwhile.
The area around the Taj is poor in comparison to Mumbai, but well serviced compared with some of the villages.
There is no possible way to communicate in words or pictures the beauty of this monument. This was built by a man whose wife ran the family business and who brought him 14 children. She died, and he built this beautiful and very large Muslim monument to her -- her body lies in a tomb within the main building.
The story of the man and his family is a sad one -- 7 children died from Malaria. Of the three remaining sons, one killed the other two, and that son then imprisoned his father for his remaining days.
The monument remains, and it is spectacular. There are few places as overwhelming in their beauty. We both cried when we walked in to see it. I am so happy that we visited.