Taj Mahal – Where Love Resides
Almost all of us are familiar about this dome-shaped mausoleum located on the south bank of the Yamuna river in Agra, India. It is one of the most famous sights in the country, and as magnificent as it is hyped up to be. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Taj Mahal’s design is pretty neat and the jewel of Mughal architecture.
It was built between 1631 and 1648 by Emperor Shah Jahan to abode the tomb of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died after giving birth to their 14th child. Taj Mahal also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. The entire complex is believed to have been completed in the year 1653 at a cost estimated to be around INR 32 million. As per legend, Shah Jahan had planned to build a similar tomb for himself on the other side of the river. The tomb was supposed to be carved out of black and white marble, but it remained a dream.
Design and Structure
The design owes much to the Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi, however, the tomb in Taj Mahal is the main attraction of the entire complex. Carved out of white marble, it is a large structure mounting on a square plinth. Taj Mahal is approached through a number of gardens and the entire construction involved close to 20,000 workers. The most magnificent feature of the tomb is the marble dome that surmounts at the top. Due to its shape, the dome is also called as Onion Dome and is 35 meters (115 ft) high. The reflective tiles, Persian poem calligraphy, marble jali, minarets, etc all adds up to spellbinding beauty of the tomb.
Best Time for Photography
Taj Mahal is simply magical, even if it’s not your first time here. The colour of the marble varies with light, and if you are able to avoid the worst of the crowds, you can snap amazing pictures at any time of the day. For a much more memorable experience, visit the site on a full moon night.
The mausoleum (Taj Mahal) attracts 7-8 million tourists every year and was declared a winner of New 7 Wonders of the World in the year 2007.
Entry Fee - INR 250 (Indians) & INR 1300 (Foreigners)
Best time to Visit - In the wee hours & on full moon nights
How to Reach – Easily accessible by Rail and Road. By flight, Delhi airport is the closest.