Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum on the right bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is also the final resting place of Shah Jahan himself. The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.
It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts more than 6 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World initiative. Agra One Day Trip From Delhi By Private Cab – Visit Famous Place
Location of Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is located in a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall. The complex is situated in Agra, a city in Uttar Pradesh, about 200 km south of Delhi. Agra was the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1648 and is home to many other historical monuments such as Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb.
Timing / Entry Fees Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is open for visitors from sunrise to sunset every day except Friday, when it is closed for prayers. The night viewing of Taj Mahal is allowed on five nights in a month: two days before the full moon, the full moon night and two days after the full moon. The night viewing timings are from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am.
The entry fee for visiting Taj Mahal is Rs. 50 for Indian citizens and Rs. 1100 for foreign nationals. Children below 15 years of age are exempted from paying any fee. The entry fee for night viewing is Rs. 510 for Indian citizens and Rs. 750 for foreign nationals.
How to Reach Taj Mahal from City Centre
Taj Mahal is about 5 km from the city centre of Agra. Visitors can reach the monument by various modes of transport, such as:
- Auto-rickshaw: This is the most common and convenient way to reach Taj Mahal from the city centre. Auto-rickshaws are easily available and charge around Rs. 50-100 for a one-way trip.
- Bus: There are buses that ply between the city centre and Taj Mahal at regular intervals. The bus fare is around Rs. 10-20 per person.
- Taxi: Visitors can also hire a taxi or a cab to reach Taj Mahal from the city centre. The taxi fare may vary depending on the distance and traffic, but it usually ranges from Rs. 200-400 for a one-way trip.
Things to Do / Must See Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is a historic and artistic landmark that offers a glimpse into the love story and legacy of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Some of the things to do and see at Taj Mahal are:
- Admire the mausoleum: The main attraction of Taj Mahal is the mausoleum, which houses the tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. The mausoleum is an octagonal structure made of white marble and decorated with intricate carvings and inlay work with precious and semi-precious stones. The mausoleum is crowned by a large dome and surrounded by four minarets at each corner.
- Explore the gardens: The mausoleum is set in a symmetrical garden, which represents paradise in Islamic culture. The garden is divided into four quarters by water channels and pathways, which symbolize the four rivers of paradise mentioned in the Quran. The garden is filled with various types of flowers, trees and birds that create a serene atmosphere.
- Visit the mosque and the guest house: On either side of the mausoleum, there are two identical red sandstone buildings: a mosque on the west and a guest house on the east. The mosque is used for prayers and has a large prayer hall with three domes and seven arches. The guest house was used for accommodating visitors and has a similar design as the mosque but without a mihrab (a niche indicating the direction of Mecca).
- Enjoy the light show: The Taj Mahal has a spectacular light show every evening after sunset. The lights change colors according to the music and create a mesmerizing effect on the monument. The light show depicts various aspects of the life and times of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
Significance of Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is a significant place for Indians, as it is a symbol of their cultural and historical heritage. It is also a significant place for Muslims, as it is a masterpiece of Islamic art and architecture. It is also a significant place for lovers, as it is a monument of eternal love and devotion.
According to legend, Shah Jahan was deeply in love with Mumtaz Mahal, his third and favourite wife. She died in 1631 while giving birth to their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. Shah Jahan was heartbroken and decided to build a magnificent mausoleum in her memory. He commissioned Ustad Ahmad Lahori, his court architect, to design and construct the Taj Mahal.
The construction started in 1632 and took 22 years to complete, involving around 20,000 workers and artisans from India and abroad. The Taj Mahal is considered to be the finest example of Mughal architecture, which combines elements of Persian, Turkish and Indian styles. The Taj Mahal is also considered to be the epitome of beauty, grace and elegance.
Q: When was Taj Mahal built?
A: The Mahal was built by Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1653 in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Q: What are the materials used for building Taj Mahal?
A: The Mahal is made of white marble from Makrana in Rajasthan, red sandstone from Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh, and various types of precious and semi-precious stones from India and abroad.
Q: Is Taj Mahal a temple or a tomb?
A: The Mahal is a mausoleum, which is a type of tomb that has a building over it. It is not a temple, as it is not used for worship.
Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum on the right bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is also the final resting place of Shah Jahan himself. The Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.
It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. The Mahal attracts more than 6 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World initiative.