French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Saturday visited the Taj Mahal, but contrary to intense speculation he was not accompanied by his girlfriend Carla Bruni.
Accompanied by a big French delegation, Sarkozy, who is currently involved romantically with model-turned singer Bruni, kept his date with the monument of love.
Bruni's absence on the trip to the Taj brought to an end to intense media speculation that she could, despite not being part of the touring delegation, make an appearance to be with Sarkozy as he visited the 17th century Mughal monument.
Sarkozy, 52, flew in to Agra almost immediately after attending the Republic Day celebrations in Delhi, where he was the chief guest. Meanwhile, the entire area around the Taj Mahal was sanitised and all shops closed and the monument itself was closed for public from 12 pm to 3 pm for the visit.
The French side had initially indicated to India that Bruni might accompany Sarkozy, prompting questions over protocol issues.
Whether or not Bruni would accompany Sarkozy had turned out to be the highlight of the French President's visit to India.
Bruni had sought to end the speculation by telling a French daily that she would not be travelling along with Sarkozy. The French President is on a two-day visit to India during which the two countries have agreed to push their defence ties and announced their decision to launch civil nuclear cooperation as soon as IAEA and Nuclear Suppliers Group give their nod.