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One of the Seven Wonders of The World and a long standing symbol of divine love, Taj Mahal is a must visit for its magnificence and pure beauty.
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Monument
Mausoleum History & Culture
Good for
Photo Fanatics History Buffs Experience Seekers
20 per person For Indians
750 per person For Foreigners
510 per person For citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries
No Entry fee for children below the age of 15 years. (both Domestic and Foreigner).
All days of the week except Friday
6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
2 to 3 hours
ABOUT Taj Mahal

The epitome of love and romance, Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan dedicated to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Bano Begum). It is a mausoleum of the queen, splendidly created in her memory. The very sight of Taj Mahal is a feast to not just your eyes, but all your senses.


History of Taj Mahal


Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was built as a tomb by the grieving Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his third wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1631. Made in white marble in typical Mughal style, it seamlessly blends elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian styles. It took 16 years to build between 1631 and 1648 under the Chief Architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Many thousands of artisans like masons, stonecutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, domebuilders were drafted from all over the empire and from Central Asia and Iran. White marble that was used for the veneering was brought in from Makrana, Rajasthan. Semi-precious stones for inlay ornamentation, that have all but been gouged out by visitors and vandals, were sourced from all over India, Ceylon and Afghanistan. Red sandstone of different tints was quarried from Sikri and Dholpur. When Shahjehan was imprisoned in the Agra Fort by his son Aurangazeb, he would look endlessly and longingly at the Taj across the river. Standing in grandeur on the right bank of the Yamuna, it is set in the middle of terraced Mughal Gardens covering 17 hectares of land. The octagonal layout is bounded in four corners by four minarets. The central onion-shaped dome soars above the tombs that are in an underground chamber.


Architecture of Taj Mahal


Spreading across an area of 1003 acres and 405 hectares, this majestic building is recognized as a UNESCO world Heritage Site in the year 1983. Taj Mahal was constructed in the 16th century and displays the artistic brilliance of the Mughals. Being located on the banks of the Yamuna river adds to the splendor of this marvel. The complex is set in the middle of a large 300-metre (980 ft) square charbagh or Mughal garden. The garden has a raised pathway that divides each of the four quarters of the garden into 16 flowerbeds. The image of the mausoleum is reflected in the raised marble water tank at the center of the garden.


Best time to Visit Taj Mahal


The best time to visit Taj Mahal during the year is from November to February, and in a day it’s during the dusk and dawn. At both the times the sight of the Taj is the most exquisite. Moreover it better to reach the place as early as possible, that will help to be ahead of the huge crowd that increases during mid-day and noon. Taj Mahal can be viewed at night too. During the full moon and two days before and after that, i.e 5 days in total, you can book tickets for a mesmerising night viewing of the Taj Mahal.


It is rightly interpreted by the English poet Sir Edwin Arnold as “Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor's love wrought in living stones.” The exquisite view of the Taj under the full moon is absolutely spellbinding. One among the seven wonders of the world, this is a monument you can't miss.
HOW TO REACH
&
NEARBY PLACES
The nearest airports are in Agra and Delhi. The Taj Express and Shatabdi offer the best rail connections to Agra. You can also drive or travel by bus (204 km from Delhi). The NH2 is a modern divided highway and the trip takes about five hours. Ask anyone about Taj Mahal in Agra, and you'll be given prompt directions. The main parking area is near the Western Gate, from where you can find different modes of transport (including tongas, camels and e-rickshaws) to ferry you to and fro from the complex. You can also choose to walk if the weather allows for it, considering the parking lot is about a 5 to 7 minute walk from the main Western Gate.
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1) Arms and ammunition of any kind, tobacco products, liquor, food, chewing gum, smoking or fire items, headphones, wire, mobile charger, knives, electric goods (except video camera) such as Camera Tripod, iPods and similar MP3 and music players are strictly prohibited inside the complex. Playing cards, games, dice, etc. may be prohibited depending on the guard. Mobile Phones are allowed but must to be kept switched off. Eating and smoking is strictly prohibited inside the Taj Mahal complex.

2) You may keep your belongings inside the lockers at the ticket counter, however this is at your own risk. Also, wearing shoes inside the main complex is not allowed. You are provided with a blue sock to wear when entering the marble structure.

3) There are also some provisions of getting a bag to keep your belongings. Do ask for that.

4) It is advisable to hire official audio guides available at the ASI ticket counter or to avail services of only approved guides and photographers who show their identity cards so that you're not fleeced.

5) The Taj Mahal is a religious site and it is ideal to dress conservatively when here, keeping traditions of Islam in mind, not only because the Taj Mahal itself is a mausoleum, but also because there are mosques inside the Taj Mahal complex.

6) Tourists can carry a water bottle inside the monument. Shoe covers (so that you don't need to take your shoes off), 1/2 litre water bottle and Tourist Guide Map of Agra are provided free of cost with the foreigner's entry ticket for the Taj Mahal.

7) Wheelchairs for disabled persons and First Aid Boxes are available at the A.S.I. Office inside the Taj Mahal complex. A charge of INR 1000 is to be deposited as security (refundable) before wheelchairs are made available for the disabled.

8) All the above mentioned items along with the mobile phones are not permitted for the night viewing of the Taj Mahal.

9) Video camera is allowed up to the red sand stone platform at the main entrance gate of the Taj Mahal complex. Inside the main mausoleum, photography is prohibited and visitors are requested not to make noise.

10) You can use the Southern Gate for entry between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM only.

11) The monument is closed on Friday.
reviewed on Dec 15 2012
9 people found this review useful
Best to visit early in the morning and the south gate is least crowded in the morning (since most tourist buses arrive at the east / west gates).
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