The Taj Mahal, Agra

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  • The Taj Mahal
    by pfsmalo
  • The Taj Mahal
    by Herkbert
  • The Taj Mahal
    by Herkbert
  • Avieira67's Profile Photo

    THE TAJ MAHAL

    by Avieira67 Updated Jan 26, 2015

    This Mughal mausoleum, accessed through the west, south and east gates which all lead to an outer courtyard, was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their fourteenth child in 1631. In spite of the construction have began in the same year only was completed in 1653.
    The Taj itsef, standing on a raised marble platform at the northern end of the ornamental gardens, is made of semi-translucent white marble, carved with flowers and inlaid with thousands of semiprecious stones in beautiful patterns. The whole structure is topped off by four small domes surrounding the famous bulbous central dome.

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    Visit the Taj Mahal

    by Herkbert Updated Nov 16, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Occasionally, while traveling, you will visit a place and see something that takes your breath away - the Taj Mahal is one of those places. Beautiful and awesome were the two best words that I uttered when I first gazed upon this gem of a building.

    Before you get to lay eyes upon it, you'll first need to buy your tickets, which I believe were 750 INR for foreigners and virtually free for Indians. I think there was a 50 INR camera fee too. After you purchase your ticket, you have to go through a thorough security checkpoint. No backpacks are allowed, purses must be searched. You may bring in a bottle of water, tour book and camera.

    Once you clear security, you proceed to the main gate, which is quite nice itself. Expect crowds, many who push and don't understand the concept of waiting in line. (They were probably all at the Who concert). As you make your way through the gate, the darkness of the room and the brightness outside obscures your view, but then it will come into focus - The Taj Mahal.

    Once inside, be prepared as all those people you were in line with will now block every photo you try to snap, especially if you try to get one on the famous Princess Diana bench. It's ok though, you're at the Taj Mahal.

    Make sure to walk around the inner courtyard to get a look from every angle and perspective. The gardens are perfectly manicured and the trees trimmed to provide a perfect frame for your photos.

    Before you approach the Taj, you'll need to remove your shoes or wear shoe covers so as not to add more wear and tear to the marble surfaces. It is truly an incredible site to see the marble carvings and inlays on the building. Such wonderful workmanship.

    Inside are the actual tombs surrounded by an ivory gate. What you see are really surrogates, as the real tombs are located in a lower level. The inner sanction is quite small compared to the overall size of the building and the area is usually crowded.

    When you exit, be sure to walk around the outside of the building. In the rear, you'll see the Yamana River flowing by, though the level is quite low these days.

    It is definitely a World Heritage Site and definitely a must see for visitors.

    Taj Mahal
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  • pfsmalo's Profile Photo

    The Taj Mahal, Agra.

    by pfsmalo Written Aug 4, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Of course this is one of those "must-do" places to visit in all of India, but be very mindful of the crushing number of people that want to do the same thing. Although the beauty of the monument shines through, I felt very oppressed by the throngs of people pushing and shoving as you walk through the main entrance gate and around the main building. The Taj has a very good official site giving all the necessary info on the history and building of the Taj here.

    http://www.tajmahal.gov.in/

    Know that admission price is 750 INR for foreigners and that it is closed on Fridays. Children under 15 enter free inc. foreigners.

    Just after the ticket booths. The main entrance gate. First view of the Taj.

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  • TAJ MAHAL MONKEY BITES and deadly RABIES VIRUS

    by BartIngelaere Written Jul 27, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were one of the first visitors at the Tash Mahal and started taking pictures. Some monkeys present around the monument attacked and one was able to bite in my back. Returning to the taxi driver, he told me that this could be very serious and I needed to go to the hospital. I followed his advice. The doctor told me that a monkey bite was even more dangerous than a snake bite because of the RABIES virus. I got two injections and need to take 5 more injections in the next month to avoid the 100 % deadly virus (in literature, no survivors of the disease are known). Back in Brussels, I was told to be extremely lucky to have followed the advice of my taxi driver (Mr Rathan from NG company of Dehli) whom I learned to appreciate as an intelligent and integer man.. But it is still three months of a stressful waiting if I will develop the symptoms.....(27th of July 2014)

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    Inlaid and carved stones

    by solopes Updated May 13, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The architecture of Taj Mahal is no surprise - anyone had seen it prior to arrive, in any kind of media and illustrations.

    The best surprise in place is the delicacy of the works in stone: the best artists were gathered to decorate the interior but also the exterior, with all kinds of representations allowed by Muslim religion, in a precious harmony.

    Taj Mahal Agra - India
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  • Orchid's Profile Photo

    'Look Madam.. a flower....'

    by Orchid Updated Feb 17, 2014

    'Look Madam! A Flower! Top to bottom, bottom to top, like a Persian Carpet. Built by the Shah Jahan. Restored by the Lord Curzon...'

    I think this was the seventeenth time our estimable tourist guide had repeated this phrase, or something very like it. It all blurred after a while. We had chosen to hire a guide that morning for a tour of the sights of Agra. The Taj was the final attraction of our day tour, and so we enjoyed the golden rays on the marble of Agra's most famous building. Back in 1990 there were no regular evening visits (except on nights of the full moon).

    I can certainly recommend leaving the Taj Mahal until last.The other fine attractions of Agra might seen an anticlimax after witnessing this towering, gleaming edifice.

    From the car park the crowds thicken until we reach the Southern Gateway, in red sandstone and marble inlay rising in front of use. We pay our guide the entry fee, and he goes off to buy the tickets. One of the benefits of having a guide.

    The crowds of visitors slow at the central gateway, all pausing to drink in their first glimpses of the famous building. Finally we can see the white marble of the onion shaped dome floating above the heads of those in front of us in the queue to enter the rectangular walled compound..The gardens spread out below, a study in symmetry either side of the axial reflecting pool.

    In front of us is the vast tomb, built on the orders of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan to be the final resting place of his beloved Mumtaz stands proudly on a marble flagged plinth (shoes are to be removed and stored with a shoewallah before one ascends). It is only when one walks here that the sheer magnitude of the structure becomes apparent. And closer observation (with or without the bletherings of you guide) reveal the rich decorative details. On the lower walls of the tomb white marble dados are sculpted with realistic bas relief depictions of flowers and vines. The marble is polished, providing emphasis to the exquisite detailing of the carvings and the dado frames. The archways are decorated with pietra dura inlays of highly stylised, almost geometric vines, flowers and fruits. The inlay stones are of yellow marble, jasper and jade, polished and levelled to the surface of the walls.

    Mumtaz Mahal's tomb lies under the centre of the dome, in a plain crypt beneath the the elaborately decorated inner chamber (it is crowded bedlam to get in here, but be patient).
    Shah Jahan is buried beside her,the only assymetric element patently visible in the whole complex.
    These are his words about the building.

    Should guilty seek asylum here,
    Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
    Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
    All his past sins are to be washed away.
    The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
    And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
    In this world this edifice has been made;
    To display thereby the creator's glory.*

    Glistening marble platform Classic reflection Detail of marble carving Leaving - South Gateway
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  • Bernd_L's Profile Photo

    Taj Mahal

    by Bernd_L Written Jan 24, 2014

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    For a long time this amazing building was on my wish list of things I want to see in my life. And in January 2014 I finally got to see it.

    We got up very early that morning when it was still pitch dark. Our driver brought us to the eastern gate of the premises where we had to pass a very strict security check. But after half an hour we were finally inside and just in time to see this magnificant Mausoleum illuminated by the first rays of the rising sun ... a really great sight!

    Taj Mahal Taj Mahal Taj Mahal - seen from Agra Fort Taj Mahal - the mosque
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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Wow

    by solopes Updated Dec 22, 2013

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    We all "knew" Taj Mahal! Tv and movies took it to everybody's home.

    We only missed the details, and now we saw them... Wow!

    The finely carved Marble Screen in only one large piece, the marble inlaid with precious stones, the harmony of the whole, enhance everything that is already said and written by everybody.

    You just have to see it for yourself

    Taj Mahal - Agra Taj Mahal - Agra Taj Mahal - Agra Taj Mahal - Agra - India
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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    Taj Mahal

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Sep 5, 2013

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    They don't get anymore iconic than this. I was most impressed by the huge size of this monument, something pictures just don't catch. The Taj was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 for his 3rd wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is India's largest and most ornate tombs, made of white marble with black marble and precious stones inlaid.

    Taj Mahal Taj Mahal Taj Mahal Taj Mahal Taj Mahal
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  • al2401's Profile Photo

    Darwaza-i Rauza

    by al2401 Written Aug 21, 2013

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    The Darwaza-i Rauza or great gate is situated in the south wall which separates the Taj Mahal from the outside world. It acts as a transition from the hustle bustle of daily life to the still and calm of paradise.

    Its architecture is magnificent enough to warrant a tip of its own - in fact it offers a taste of what is to be seen inside with it pointed arched portal and inscriptions from the Qu'ran. These features although in red sandstone are repeated in the Taj Mahal itself in the magnificent white marble.

    Darwaza-i Rauza Darwaza-i Rauza Darwaza-i Rauza Darwaza-i Rauza Darwaza-i Rauza
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    See the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh

    by al2401 Written Aug 21, 2013

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    The Mehtab Bagh or Moonlight Garden was the last of eleven Mughal-built gardens along the Yamuna opposite the Taj and the Agra Fort. This square garden is perfectly aligned with the Taj Mahal complex and a wonderful place from which to photograph.

    This is the best place to view the Taj Mahal at dawn and when the river is full you can get some great reflections. As the sun hits the Nacre in the inlaid designs the walls seem to sparkle.

    The garden is a lovely place to wander around on its own account.

    Entrance for Tourists is 100Rs and it is open at sunrise.

    The Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh The Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh The Taj Mahal at sunrise The Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh The Taj Mahal mosque from Mehtab Bagh
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  • al2401's Profile Photo

    The Taj Mahal

    by al2401 Written Aug 20, 2013

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    What trip to Agra is not complete without a visit to this magnificent structure.

    The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum. It is not a palace or a mosque. Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture. This is a style that combines elements from those of Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural.

    The stunning domed building is no doubt the centrepiece of the complex including beautiful gardens, a separate mosque and a mirror image building that is thought to have been used as a meeting or guest house. The main complex is protected by a red snadstome wall on three side with the north side open to the river. The Great gate (Darwaza-i rauza) is in the south wall. Smaller mausoleums to lesser wives can be found outside these walls.

    Construction started in 1632. The main building was finished in 1648 followed by the other buildings in 1653. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    The Taj Mahal at Sunset The Taj Mahal traditional view The Taj Mahal Minaret - The Taj Mahal The Taj Mahal at Sunset
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    Taj Mahal was ranked third

    by addyson Written Jul 31, 2013

    The Taj Mahal Agra is a vivid poetry in Marble. A marvellous piece of Pietra Dura
    {the stone inlay work} and a monument dedicated to eternal love or the eighth wonder in the World - The beauty of the Taj Mahal, located in Agra, cannot be expressed in words. Built by Shahjahan, the fifth Mughal ruler of India in 1631 AD, the mausoleum is a tribute to his second wife, advisor and soulmate, Mumtaz Mahal.
    According to TripAdvisor's 2013 Travellers Choice Attractions Awards, Taj Mahal was ranked third in the list of Top 25 landmarks.

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  • albaaust's Profile Photo

    Taking photos

    by albaaust Written Mar 12, 2013

    The Taj Mahal itself is simply stunning and more adequately described than I can do justice. Do try and get a photo shot from the centre and keep an eye out for reflections in the pond. The shot I took was actually after sunset.

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  • PeterVancouver's Profile Photo

    Taj

    by PeterVancouver Updated May 3, 2012

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    Completed in 1653 A.D., The Taj Mahal built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as the final resting place for his favourite Queen, Mumtaz. It is perhaps India's most fascinating and beautiful monument. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (1630-1652) of hard labour and 20,000 workers.

    Very hard to get up before dawn whilst on holiday, and to travel in the dark to the Taj Mahal but well worth it and to pay the RS500 ($12) entrance fee for non Indians. Remember not open to tourists on Fridays.

    Probably the only building I have ever seen in my life which virtually takes your breath away as the sun comes up, and creates differing shades on the marble. It is well worth the early morning rise, not only to see the sun's rays hitting the building, but also to avoid the inevitable crowds as the tourist buses arrive later in the day.

    At the rear the Yamuna River passes by in tranquil fashion having started out in the Himalaya's and which will wind its way down the 1375km through Delhi, entering the Ganges near to Allahabad

    The Yamuna river passing by the rear of the Taj at Mumtaz with Taj Jamat Khanah (see detail photo #2)
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