There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it and those who have not seen the Taj and love it — Bill Clinton
Every traveler’s bucket list has a mention of the world-famous Taj Mahal. Acclaimed as the most beautiful building ever constructed, the Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A perfect example of art inspiring other art forms — the magnificence of this mammoth marble masterpiece has been the muse for writers, painters, and other artists. This iconic monument has also been the subject of photography, the cover story of many popular travel magazines, guidebooks, etc.
You might have come across a lot of written pieces about its elegance and thousands of substantiating pictures attesting to it, but the moment you encounter this jaw-droppingly spectacular monument, you think of nothing else but dedicate yourself to savoring the magic in front of your eyes. Are you already fantasizing about experiencing these overwhelming moments? Book your flight tickets with Indian Eagle and travel to India! Go through our Taj Mahal Guide to learn (in advance) the ropes of touring the world-famous monument!
Where is it located exactly?
The Taj Mahal is situated on the southern bank of the Yamuna (Jumna) River in the Indian city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Agra is about 200 kilometers from Delhi, India’s capital city.
How to reach the Taj Mahal?
If you are taking a flight to India, the closest international airport to the Taj Mahal will be the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Private buses and taxis are available to Agra from the airport. Agra is also well-connected to cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Chennai by rail. You can reach the Taj Mahal complex by means of buses, taxis, auto-rickshaws, and cabs. The Taj Mahal is a part of the Golden Triangle Tour itinerary.
What is the best time to go?
Agra has a semi-arid climate. Although any time during the year is perfect for visiting the timeless beauty of the Taj Mahal, the peak tourist season is from October to March.
You’ll get an immaculate view of the Taj during the clear (of course hot) summer days. The rains add to the romantic vibe exuded by the “symbol of love,” whereas the touch of mist during the winter enriches the monument’s charm. Early morning hours are the best to see the Taj Mahal, whose white marble gleams in the mystical hues of early sun rays. Also, it is the best time to beat the crowd that starts trickling in after 6 a.m.
Night viewing is also allowed five days a month, i.e., on the full-moon night and the two preceding and succeeding nights, from 8.30 pm to 12.30 am.
Entrance fee and timings:
The Taj Mahal opens a half-hour before the Sunrise and closes a half-hour before the Sunset.
- Adult (Indian) — 50/-
- Adult (Foreigner) — Rs.1100/-
- Adult (Citizen of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries) — 540/-
- Children below 15 years (both Indians and Foreigners) — Free
The Taj Mahal Guide — Entering the Taj Mahal Complex:
There are three gates to enter the Taj complex — The Eastern, Western, and Southern Gate. While the Western Gate, the main entrance, sees long queues of Indian tourists throughout the day, the Eastern Gate (preferred by foreigners because of its proximity to many hotels) is more crowded in the early morning hours. The Southern Gate, the least-used one, is located near a busy market area and is open only after 8 in the morning. The main gateway (Darwaza-i-rauza), an elaborate structure in itself, impressively reveals the Taj Mahal as one passes through it.
History and architecture of the Taj Mahal:
Our Taj Mahal Guide shares with you the historical and architectural highlights of this monument. Constructed between 1631-48 in a seventeen-hectare Mughal garden, the Taj Mahal is ‘an ode to love composed of white marble.’ Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had it built in memory of his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum (popularly known as Mumtāz Mahal), thus immortalizing his deep affection for her.
Considered as ‘Jewel of Mughal Architecture’ (an architectural style with elements from traditional Indian, Islamic, and Persian architecture), the Taj Mahal complex was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The collaborative efforts of more than 20,000 artists and artisans for a period of over 20 years went into the creation of the Taj Mahal.
Strategically planned on a raised marble platform at the northern edge of ornamental gardens, this beautiful ivory-white mausoleum, flanked by a domed red-sandstone mosque to the West and jawāb (a replica of the mosque) to the East, illustrates the perfect mastery of symmetrical design. Floral motifs shaped by embedding rare and semi-precious stones, along with Arabic calligraphy, adorn the walls of the Taj Mahal. The fine details of marble carvings, inlay work, and incised painting amplify the aesthetic appeal of the monument.
The Mughal garden style Charbagh, meaning four gardens, is adapted from the Quranic description of Paradise. Each of these four gardens is further dissected into four quadrants (i.e., a total of 16 flower beds) by stone-paved raised pathways. Exactly in the center of the vast garden lies a chabutra (a raised platform) of white marble, with a reflecting pool having five fountains. As noted by UNESCO, the Taj Mahal ‘represents the finest architectural and artistic achievement through perfect harmony and excellent craftsmanship.’
Important points to note:
This section of our Taj Mahal Guide includes all the important things you need to know before visiting the Taj Mahal.
- The Taj Mahal is closed to tourists every Friday.
- Eating, and smoking on the premises are prohibited.
- Photography inside the mausoleum is prohibited.
- Headphones and tripods are not allowed.
- Except for a small bag with essential items, all the other bags must be left outside in the safe locker room near the entrance.
- One needs to buy an additional ticket worth Rs.200/- to visit the main mausoleum.
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