Agra - Taj Mahal, Delhi
I think most people know about this place and have seen tons of pictures of it. But when you see it for the first time in real life, it still takes your breathe away for its shear beauty and proportions. I actually saw it for the first time from the rooftop of my hotel and whilst I sat eating my lunch, I just couldn't take my eyes of it!
Ok, the story goes like this. The Taj Mahal was constructed between 1631 and 1654 and its construction is said to have been done by a workforce of 22,000 that contained among others laborers, Naqqashi laborers, painters, stonecutters, garden-layers, gardeners, embroidery artists and masons. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned its construction as a mausoleum for Arjumand Begum, who was re-christened Mumtaz after her marriage to him. It is said that Shah Jahan was very much pained by the death of his favourite wife when she died giving birth to their 14th child. He constructed this mausoleum so that its pleasant site would give him solace. The tombs of both Mumtaz and Shah Jahan lie in the tomb chamber on a raised platform surrounded by marble lattice screens.
Open: 6am-7pm. Admission: Rs750 for foreigners.
Our driver picked up early mourning & experienced the early morning rush hour traffic.Half way to agra we stopped at a chorming restaurant for half an hour.Next we stopped at a stunnig white hindu temple in Mathura.The temple is made from marbel.There is no an entrance charg .You have to leave your shoes at the entrance leter we stopped at the Tomb of Akbar Sikandra.It was great.
3 o clock we checked in at the hotel.We took an how to relax before going to Taj Mahal.
A good time to visit is at sunset as the Taj change colours as the sunset.Enter via West gate, the price for a ticket is Rs 700 and is obtained from the booking office on the left side of the main entirance.There are many guides who will offer to take too Around the site.They charge about Rs 700 and are worth & very fenny! They will explan the History of the Taj and will take photographe of you.At the best locations. so take a guide you will not regect it!!! I egnore the hawkers!
Next morning picked up from the hotel.Take to the Red Fort which was bretath taking.It was a good time to see as in the morning it is fairly quite.
On the way back to Delhi we stopped at the restaurant were i took a photo with an Elephant.
VTer's Brett & Monika,
Well, not actually off the beaten... but a same day visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra is doable. The official government sponsored Delhi Tours offers one going there by bus (cost is about 300Rs? I think), several times a week, ph: 3365358, 3363607. I wanted to do this one, but it fell on the wrong day of my schedule. For more on my Taj trip adventure, see my India page!
The city of Agra, with its main attraction (Taj Mahal) is not far from Delhi. There are many bus trips to visit it the same day and return at night.