This shot was taken fairly early in the morning before the majority of visitors had arrived. See it in colour here.
I prefer the black and white version as I feel the rays of sun light and the misty haze are more pronounced.
This is a part of the wall which surrounds the Taj Mahal and the gardens around it. The wall is built out of red sand stone and encloses three sides of the Taj Mahal. The fourth side faces the river Yamuna and is left open. The wall is interspersed with small buildings and domed watch towers. The garden facing inner sides of the wall is fronted by columned arcades. This is a feature of hindu temples which was later incorporated into Mughal mosques.
Although the white domed mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal is the most familiar component, the Taj Mahal consists of an integrated complex of structures. These structures included mosques, other mausoleums and guest houses.
The Taj Mahal was commissioned by Shah Jehan after the death of his third wife in 1631. Construction of the complex started in 1632. The mausoleum was complete in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and gardens were completed in 1653.
Unfortunately, due to air polution, the white marble, which was used to construct the main maausoleum, is getting discoloured.