Prime Minister John Key has visited the Taj Mahal on his first stop of his three-day trip in India, saying it was more impressive than he had believed.

The palace - a monument of love from the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to his wife in the 1600s - was closed to the public for Mr Key's visit, which is an official state history.

Mr Key was shown around with his wife Bronagh and obliged the media by giving her a quick kiss as the pair sat on the bench in front of the palace, the site of the famous photo of the late Princess Diana alone there in 1992.

Mr Key joked that as much as he loved his wife, he did not think he would be building a replica in Auckland.

"I'm not sure how it would be funded. I certainly can't and I can't see Bill English giving the money for this. The cycleway was a bit of a stretch for him."

The visit to the Taj Mahal was slightly delayed because the earlier arrival of the monsoon clouded in the Agra air base. After about 20 minutes of circling, the weather finally cleared enough to land.

Mr Key is in India for a meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at which he hopes to further build political will for a free trade agreement. Later tonight he and former Black Caps captain Stephen Fleming will visit a cricket stadium to announce sports scholarships. Mr Key said he would face some balls from Mr Fleming.