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. Finished in by Marvel, it is perhaps India most fascinating and beautiful monument. This perfectly symmetrical monuments took 22 years (1630-1652) of hard labour and 20,000 workers, Masons and Jewellers to built and is set amidst landscaped gardens. Built by the Persian architect, Ustad Isa, The Taj Mahal the bank of the Yamuna river. It can be observed like a Mirage from the Agra Fort from where Emperor Shah Jahan stared at it, for the last eight years his life as a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. It is a masterpiece of symmetry, Seeming to be floating in the air from a distance, and each revealed as an illusion experienced as one enters through the main gate. The verses of Holy Koran as inscribed on it and at the top of gate 22 small domes, signifying the number of years the monument took to built. The Taj Mahal has been built on a Marvel Plateform that stands above a standstone one. The most elegant dome of the Taj, with diameter of 60 feets, rises 80 feets, over the building and directly under the dome is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's tomb has been irected next to her's by his son Aurangzeb. Fantastic Inley works using semi-precious stones decorate and interiors.
Open Time : 6 A.M. to 7.30 P.M. (Friday is closed)
Everyone who visits the Taj Mahal complex will have a photo taken in this spot soon or later. This point is a favourite photographic spot for visitors. It is very likely you will have to queue to have your photo taken here.
There are a couple of handy locals who will take a decent photograph of you and your fellow travellers for a small tip.
Four symmetric water canals irrigated with water from the Yamuna River converge at this small marble tank.
All visitors enter the Taj Mahal complex through the south red sand stone main gate.
I arrived on a Sunday afternoon and after walking about two kilometres (cars and auto-rickshaws are not allowed in a 200 metres area), I found a half a mile queue of Indians.
Apparently, an US politician was visiting and the place was closed to the public for 2 or 3 hours.
After this unexpected inconvenience, I decided to have a free view from the opposite bank of the river; it is a photographer’s paradise especially at sunset. To get there hire an auto-rickshaw for a couple of hours. It should cost between 100-150 rupees and take about 20-25 minutes.
So much has been said and written about the Taj Mahal. It is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. Despite its familiarity, the beauty took my breath away. I wondered what kind of love this was- what kind of man would create such perfection. The domes glow and turn different shades, reflecting the light.Even on the grey, overcast day that we visited,it seemed to shimmer.
Shah Jehan was a passionate man.Only passion and the grief that aged him overnight could have inspired him to build the most perfectly flawless architechural creation in the world. After the death of Mumtaz at the age of 39, the Shah was inconsolable. The court went into mourning for two years. A memorial to his beloved queen Mumtaz had to be erected.It was to be one that the world would never forget. The white marble domes have inspired poets and painters since the 17th century. Songs have been written and sung about it. And upon first gazing at it- one can never, ever forget it. Few can be unmoved by its beauty.
The location was chosen carefully- it had to be erected on the banks of the Yamuna, so that the emperor could gaze at it for the rest of his life. He died , imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, at the Red Fort. The Taj Mahal may have been one of the last things saw.
Work began in 1633. 20,000 workers laboured for 17 years to build it. The most skilled architects, inlay craftsmen, calligraphers, stone-carvers and masons came from all across India and lands as distant as Persia and Turkey. Coral from Arabia, Agate from the Yemen, garnets from Bundelkand, and onyx and amethyst from Persia decorate the pristine white marble. Koranic verses were carved into the marble.
(Mumtaz married Shah Jehan at the age of 21. A loyal and loving wife, she accomponied him on all his expeditions.She bore him 14 children, and died in childbirth while travelling with him).
Gardens and a water canal lead up to the Taj.The water of the pool reflects the white marble. They also compliment the beauty, and were designed with utmost attention.The banks of the River Yamuna was the perfect site.The day that we saw it, it was flowing gently.The security is very tight- for obvious reasons. Men and women are "frisked" separately. Shoes have to be removed on entering the mausoleum.Photography is not allowed inside the tomb area. Food or drinks are also not allowed inside, after passing the security check.
The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays
Taj Mahal is really a beautiful monument of great perfection. You can like it more or less than others Mughal monuments, but is the most perfect one. Its work is the most delicate. Of white worked marble and perfect symmetry from everywhere you look at if full of precious stones and of love story to tell us, surrounded by beautiful gardens and fountains. From outside or inside, from far or near, with open or close eyes, is an incredible place.
Try to visit the Taj as early as possible, (just after sunrise if you can). The early morning fog just before the sun breaks the sky helps to create a more captivating atmosphere.
Also you will appreciate the solitude and quiet of the early morning before hundreds of tourist start invading the complex from 9.30.
As others Indian monuments, Taj Mahal is surrounded by walls and inside those walls you find a group of buildings. Protected by red sandstone high walls with three entrances where you will go inside though security check. Mobil are not permited inside, so you will have to leave them at a room outside the walls. The eastern and western entrance takes you to wide arched kiosks ways of really beauty structure, and from there to a big patio at the centre where you get to the real entrance of the Taj.
You have to buy a ticket to visit 5 monuments of 500 R. (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Itamudu'd-Daula, Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri)
and after you have to pay for each an amount. For Taj you have to pay 250 R. more.
The entrace of Taj Mahal if full of sellers that don't understand "No Thanks" :))) just try to keep the calm, they will try you to loose it :))
At each sides of the Taj you will find two symmetric red sandstone buildings. The one that face the Mecca is the Mosque, at the west side. It was normal to build a mosque near the tomb. Both buildings are very identical from outside but inside the Mosque have the floor with the pray positions for each prayer and separated part with a white marble worked wall or marble screen. I think that is the women's part.
All the inside is red painted with white flowers at walls and ceiling. You can sit in its floor and see the light coming inside the building making it so beautiful
The marble was transported from Jodhpur. There are many precious stones as you can see in the dome. Inside the tumb, with a lintern, the detail of te work can be seen perfectly. Maybe each petal of a flower is formed for more than 60 different stones.
The Jawad is the replica building of the mosque on the other side of the Taj Mahal. Of the same outside shape and red sandstone build; the same white flowers at the walls and ceiling paints, but with annexed buildings at each side with little towers. I did liked more this building than the mosque, perhaps because the annexed buildings. From the inside you have a beautiful view of the Taj because the light you get and the shapes you have.
Doesn't everyone go to Agra to see the Taj Mahal?
In 1612, Arjumand Banu Begam, better known by her other name , Mumtaz Mahal was married to Shah Jehan (then Prince Khurram), the fifth mughal emperor. This marriage, although the emperor's second, was a real love-match, and Mumtaz was her husband's inseparable companion on all his journeys and military expeditions. She was his comrade, his counsellor, and inspired him to acts of charity and benevolence towards the weak and the needy. She bore him fourteen children, and died in childbed in 1630 (only three years after his accession to the throne) in Burhanpur in the Deccan where she had accompanied him on a military campaign. Overpowered by grief, Shah Jehan was determined to perpetuate her memory for immortality and decided to build his beloved wife the finest sepulchre ever - a monument of eternal love. It was Shah Jehan's everlasting love for Mumtaz that led to the genesis of the Taj Mahal. The sad circumstances which attended the early death of the empress who had endeared herself to the people inspired all his subjects to join in the emperor's pious intentions. After twenty-two laborious years, and the combined effort of over twenty thousand workmen and master craftsmen, the complex was finally completed in 1648 on the banks on the river Yamuna in Agra, the capital of mughal monarchs.
The origin of the name the "Taj Mahal" is not clear. Court histories from Shah Jehan's reign only call it the rauza (tomb) of Mumtaz Mahal. It is generally believed that "Taj Mahal" (usually translated as either "Crown Palace" or "Crown of the Palace") is an abbreviated version of her name, Mumtaz Mahal (Exalted One of the Palace).
The admission cost is 750 rupees for foreigners and 20 for locals.
You can't bring in cellphones or food inside.
The Taj Mahal pricey entrance fee for foreigners is a real ripe-off by Indian living standards. In theory, this money is used for the renovation work as traffic and industrial pollution is taken its toll in the delicate marble stones. However some people think that all this revenue could easily be pockets by a few people in high places.
This photo was taken from a hill outside of the Taj complex.
The gardens are very nice. It's beautiful to walk there or simply have a rest. The gardens were style Charbagh: divided in four parts by water. They are the islamic image of Paradise Garden, where the rivers have water, milk, wine and honey. Today, there is only water in the North -South channel.
The Taj Mahal is at the river edge. From the Taj you have a fantastic view over the river and the Red Fort, and from there you can image the old king looking at where you are and dreaming with the woman of his life. You will see yourself looking far away as hipnotize.
When you mention India - the first thing that pops up is the Taj Mahal...the symbol of love...well at least to me.
The pic is the entrance, the gateway to the Taj Mahal complex - equally as beautiful to the white marbel tomb. The entire complex is huge...it has of course the tomb, in the centre, n two twin pink (brown to me) building flanking left and right...one is a mosque and the other is the rest house.
Look at the beautiful reflection onto the water.
This was the first pic I took after entering numerous checkpoints n body search.
For all those wanna go-er to the awesome Taj - go early. The sight is magnificent altho the blasing sun does not rise nor set close to the Taj which sits on a north-south direction.
Also going early meant less crowd and more freedom to walk and peace to admire the site. remember lots of tourist come on day trip (it takes bout 2-3 hours drive from New Delhi) so lots of them arrive between 9-11 am...so get there early.
We got there before 7am, and there was lots of local sort of brisk walk around the park entrance. You sort of follow the crowd...it takes about 5-10 mins walk to get to the ticket booth. There are herds of so-called guides at a mere fee of Rs100...just tell them you cannot afford it - n they scoot off looking for potential clients.
The entrance fees for non Indians is Rs 750, one way...and I had to pay again when I re-visited it during sunset.
No lighters, no scissors - sharp stuff - no torch light etc...you will need to store them in the locker - so do not bring those stuff.
Two checkpoints..and body search.