US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump spent nearly an hour on Monday at the Taj Mahal in Agra, their second stop after arriving in India for a two-day visit. The Trumps enjoyed the magnificent marble monument in the glow of the fading sun, the complex completely cleared of any other visitor or staff.
The Trumps walked hand-in-hand into the 16th century mausoleum, known worldwide as the monument of love, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
"The Taj Mahal inspires awe. A timeless testament to the rich and diverse beauty of Indian culture. Thank you India," President Trump wrote in the visitors' book soon after stepping into the complex for a private visit.
President Trump and the First Lady were unhurried as they walked on the manicured lawns, alongside spruced up fountains, on their guided tour of the Taj Mahal.
For the job of escorting the Trumps, many guides were screened; three were short-listed and only one made it. The only other "company" for the couple was a flock of birds that vanished as suddenly as they appeared.
Half-way to the monument, President Trump - who once owned a casino in Atlantic City named Taj Mahal -- and Melania Trump stopped at the famed love seat where most foreign dignitaries pose, and smiled for the cameras, holding hands.
For the visit, hundreds of workers had scrubbed and polished the stones, applied fresh paint on walls and multani mitti (mud-pack) on the marble. Water was released into the river Yamuna flowing just behind the monument, to reduce the stench of years of garbage and pollutants. Residents and shops in the vicinity were verified.
The US President's daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner also toured the monument at a distance, along with the rest of the American delegation. Ivanka Trump was seen handing her mobile phone to a photographer for a click.
The US President and his family arrived on Monday afternoon in India, touching down first at Ahmedabad, where he was greeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a hug.
President Trump and PM Modi addressed a massive gathering at the newly-built Motera cricket stadium, the world's biggest.
Today, President Trump and PM Modi will hold talks in Delhi and a trade deal will be high on the agenda.