Agra is the home to one of the seven wonders of the World, Taj Mahal. The city has an essence of romance, history and architecture to it. It is situated on the banks of river Yamuna. Apart from the monuments, Agra is also famous for its food including the popular Agra ka Petha and delicious chaats and lassi.
Taj Mahal is universally recognised as the most elegant building in the world. It was established by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is built completely out of white marble. Taj Mahal is amongst the most exquisite structures of Mughal architecture. It has been acknowledged by the UNESCO as a world heritage site. Every year a huge number of visitors visit Agra to get a glimpse of this breathtaking monument.
Shah Jahan stated that the Taj Mahal is so beautiful that it makes “the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes”. The word Taj Mahal means ‘Crown of Palaces’ in the Persian language. The marble used for constructing this beauty was sourced from Makrana in Rajasthan.
Rabindranath Tagore pictured the Taj Mahal as “a teardrop in the cheek of eternity“. And Rudyard Kipling stated it is “the embodiment of all things pure“. The construction of the Taj Mahal started in 1631 and it took 17 years to complete. The monument is designed in a rectangular shape and can be reached through a huge gateway which has an arch and bays on either side of it. The Taj Mahal has splendid artistic work done in the interiors as well. There are water channels and fountains at the entrance which makes the monument even more magnificent. The reflection of this grand view in the Yamuna is almost lyrical in its supremacy!
History of Taj Mahal
The beautiful Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in the loving memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. She died while giving birth to their 14th child. The emperor was left heartbroken after her death. The construction of the mausoleum began in 1632, a year after the death of Mumtaz Mahal. It took 8 years to complete the construction of the main building. But the whole complex took about 21 years to complete.
When Shah Jahan died, his mortal remains were buried along with Mumtaz Mahal’s remains in the Taj Mahal. It took about 20,000 people to construct the building. Taj Mahal is made with beautiful marble and has marble screens and marle inlays over it.
Tips For Visiting Taj Mahal
Here are a few tips you should know when visiting Taj Mahal.
1. Taj Mahal can be reached by three gates. Tour groups access through the east and west entrances and independent tourists go through the south gates.
2. Cameras are allowed. But, photography is forbidden inside the main tomb.
3. Don’t skip to recover your free bottle of water (500ml) and shoe covers which are covered in the ticket cost.
4. You can deposit your bags for free alongside the ticket counter.
5. Tourists can use free Wi-Fi service inside the complex for half an hour, and then they will be charged at INR 30 per hour.
Taj Mahal Night Tour
You can also visit the monument at night. The facility is available only five days a month. The date and time for night view tour are decided by the Archaeological Survey of India. The tour is available on two days before and a day after the full moon night. The tour usually happens from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am in 8 batches of 50 people each. The tour is for 30 minutes. That means only 400 people can go on one night. But the tourists can’t enter inside the monument during the night, they can only view it from the outside. Cameras ain’t allowed during the night tour.
Best Time To Visit Taj Mahal
The best time during the day to visit the Taj Mahal is during sunrise. The monument looks the most beautiful at that time. The next best time to visit is during sunset. the crowd is also the least during these hours.