Taj Mahal – White Marble Mausoleum
In the city of Agra, there are several sites but fate has made it one of the seven wonders of the world is located there; the Taj Mahal is the site that has attracted so much importance to Agra. The monument was built between 1631 and 1653 by the 5th Mughal emperor named Shah Jahan to shelter the tomb of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal as well as to create a legacy for her in her remembrance. The whole site is a complete showcase of the fineness attached to a Mughal architecture with the combination of Islamic, Iranian, Persian and Indian patterns.
Taj Mahal has attracted thousands of tourists from all over the globe at different times of the year and with all the excitement they always leave without being disappointed while some promise to re-visit with friends and closed ones. The site has been vetted by different bodies and tourist organizations especially the most popular which is UNESCO recognition. UNESCO sees the Taj Mahal as a heritage site and one of the seven wonders of our present world. Shah Jahan had a lot of good comments about the Taj but the most remarkable was when he said that it made “the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes”.
Layout and location
Taj Mahal is an exceptionally beautiful mausoleum that was erected in 22 years, while Rabindranath Tagore described it as “a teardrop on the cheek of eternity”. The site is situated on the south bank of the Yamuna river in Agra and covers an area of 42 acres. Built entirely of white marble stone, the Taj Mahal is famous for its symmetrical construction, decoration, calligraphy, painting, carving and other artistic styles which makes it universally the most admired world heritage. The entire Monument consists of five structures which are mainly Darwaza (main gateway), Bageecha (gardens), Masjid (mosque), Rauza (main mausoleum) and Naqqar Khana (rest house). The main attraction of the Taj Mahal is the tomb which is located in its center is 58 feet in diameter and 81 feet in height.
Some very attractive precious and semi-precious stones were used and they count to be a total of twenty-eight types were used across the palace. All of the stones were sourced from Tibet, China, Sri Lanka and some parts of India. There are three gates to enter the Taj Mahal that is Western Gate, Southern Gate, and Eastern Gate.
Accommodation in Agra near Taj Mahal
There is a myriad of accommodation options available in all ranges for people visiting this wonderful city of the Taj Mahal. Some of the accommodations are located right near the monument or providing views of this beautiful place. There are many 5 Stars, 4 Stars, boutique and budget hotels available near the site which offer comfortable accommodation with good amenities. Many hotels in Agra provide nice views of the city and the monument.
Where to Eat in Agra
When it comes to fooding, Agra has its place. Just like hotels, there are several dining options available for visitors where they can explore Indian and western cuisines. You can book a hotel with a restaurant in Agra
Taj Mahal Tour Guide
Like many other tourist sites, there is a time of operation where they open for visitors and attend as much as possible before it is closed up again. It is open from sunrise to sunset which may invariably be 6 am for opening time and 6 pm for closing but no operations on Friday to indicate resting and work-free day. The entry system is also not a free portal except for kids below 15 years but has some cost attached; For Indian Citizens, it will cost INR 50 while citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries will pay a higher amount of INR 540. Then visitors from out of the continents or previously mentioned class will be charged INR 1100 then an additional INR 200 for visitors that wish to look around the mausoleum.
Things to do in Agra Near Taj Mahal
The main activities which are available for the visitors to enjoy near the Monument include photography and sightseeing of nearby places such as Agra Fort and a nature walk in the Mughal gardens. 1/3 of tourists come to see the Taj Mahal during the sunrise or sunset in order to experience the changing colours of the building.
Some Interesting Facts about the Taj Mahal
The Taj has some very interesting facts especially as regardings inscriptions, designs, policies and cultures imbibed. Some facts include the following:
- Famous Tourist Magnet: Taj Mahal is a world’s famous tourist magnet that attracts more than a million visitors each year.
- Undecorated Grave: This fact was built based on the Muslim laws that say decoration of graves depicts vanity but the major stone is decorated properly.
- Audio Guide: In Taj, loads and luggage can be preserved for free at ticket points and even be offered an audio file for guidelines and directions around the site for a certain price.
- Sunrise and Sunsets: Sunrise and sunsets are the best times to visit especially because of the magical view of the sun at those times.
- Inscriptions: The inscriptions on the walls are perfectly carved and they only indicate Muslim scriptures from the Qu’ran
- Construction of the Site: For the construction of the Taj Mahal, one thousand elephants were used for the transportation of construction material to the site. The white marble is said to be ordered from Makrana, Rajasthan. It cost around 32 million Rupees in Indian currency at the time for the Construction of the Taj Mahal which is the equivalent of over US $1 billion.
- Changing Hues of Mausoleum: The colour of the Taj changes depending on the time and light. The building appears pinkish in the dawn, milky white in the evening time while it looks golden in the Moonlight.
Best time to visit the Taj Mahal
Every day, around 40-50,000 visitors come to visit the Taj Mahal and approximately 6-8 million in a year. Although one can visit Taj Mahal any time of the year it is recommended to visit in Winters that is from November to March to avoid the sweltering heat and rainy seasons.
In the Persian language, the Taj Mahal stands for “Crown of places”. The whole site leaves the visitors/tourists underprepared for its special wonder. We could go extensively about Taj but the specialities are unique especially with the fact that it costs over a billion to re-erect such edifice and the architect was an Amputee. Taj Mahal is one of the best sites to visit in the world and should be visited with an awareness that the certainty of enjoying the place is over a hundred percent.
FAQs about Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1632
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.