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Taj Mahal

Introduction
Taj Mahal Taj Mahal is UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Agra city of Uttar Pradesh state in North India. It is counted among wonders of world thus visited by thousands of tourists, on daily basis. It is actually an ivory white marble mausoleum, Well known symbol of love and romance is situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. The name of the Taj Mahal derived from the name of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's wife Mumtaj Mahal and also means crown palace. It was buily by Shahjahan in 1632 in the memory of her loving wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at first sight. Mumtaj Mahal known has as third wife but she was very loving to Shahjahan. In fact we can say that other wives are nothing to him. Mumtaj also plays the role of her counselor, adviser and a good companion too. Mumtaz rolled over the whole Mughal Empire with Shahjahan. She was always with him in every battels too. It's white color is symbol of pure love and purity. The beauty of this monument is such that it is beyond the scope of word. However, until you know the love story behind the construction of the Tajmahal, the beauty of the same would not enliven in your mind and heart. It is the love behind this outstanding monument that has given a life to this monument.

Taj Mahal Timing & Fee
While planning to do Agra city tour, it is important to have information on Taj Mahal timings. Please note this valuable information:
Taj Mahal Timing = Sunrise to Sunset
Taj Mahal Days = Saturday to Thursday
Taj Mahal Closed = Every Friday (Open for prayer in Afternoon)
It is open for tourists, throughout the year. In case of any VVIP visit like political leader of our country or any other country, entry may be restricted for sometime other wise it remains open for visitors. In case of any maintenance work, going on, monument partial part may remain closed for some-days but full monument is not closed for visitors. Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday. In this day, at afternoon, prayer is offered in mosque for those who want to participate in prayer, may enter in afternoon. Earlier it was not possible to visit Taj Mahal in night hours but later Government allowed to open it on moon-nights for few hours so that tourists may enjoy the view of Taj, after sun-set. Entry to this monument is chargeable. Tickets can be obtained from entrance gates:
TAJ MAHAL TICKET OUTLETS TIMING
Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal Open from Sunrise to Sunset
Western Gate of Taj Mahal Open from Sunrise to Sunset
Southern Gate of Taj Mahal Open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
According to timings, tourists can reach the entrance ticket outlet and purchase the ticket. Their is no limit on stay duration, once you enter into the Taj complex. Withinn the monument opening and closing time limits, tourists can spend anytime period, inside the monument complex. Let's check about the Taj Mahal entrance fee. Children below 15 years, of any country (Indian or Foreigner) are allowed free entrance. Other's are mandatory to show entrance ticket, before entering into the complex. Please carry this ticket till you are their so that in case of any verification request, you may be able to produce it. Taj Mahal entrance ticket rates are given below, as per current time:
TAJ MAHAL ENTRANCE FEE
Tourist Type Amount in INR. (ASI+ADA Fee)
Domestic Tourists (Indians) 40.00/-
Tourists from SAARC or BIMSTEC Countries 530.00/-
Tourists from other Countries 1000.00/-
Children Below 15 years age (from any Country) FREE
Note:
  • ASI = Archeological Survey of India
  • ADA = Agra Development Authority
  • SAARC Countries = Afganistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
  • BIMSTEC Countries = Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand
  • All visitors should must carry their original ID document, during visit.
  • Follow all instructions of management authority.
Online Monuments E-Ticket Booking
This ticket is valid for 02 days which means you can do ticket booking in one-day advance. Follow link = Click here
This link will allow all tourists to do online ticket booking for all ASI monuments. Just select the monument, provide your travel date, country information, name, age, gender, ID type, ID number and proceed. In one run, we can book tickets for 20 Adults & 10 Children. Although children below 15 years are free from any entrance charges but their details should be presented. All the visitors should carry their mentioned original ID document, with them.

Taj Mahal Photography
While visiting Taj Mahal, visitors can do still photography (Videography not allowed). They can use their still camera to do photography of heritage buildings, gardens etc. Taj Mahal can be photographed from outside but once we enter inside the monuments, photography is not allowed. As it is a mausoleum, so visitors are expected to abstain from any kind of photography and silently visit this place. It is a very much photogenic monuments so photographers often spend considerable time to shoot this heavenly place from many angles.
Taj Mahal at sunrise - It's a moment of delight when the beauty of sunrise and Taj Mahal culminate together to make for some awe-inspiring images of the Taj, being transformed from soft grey and pink to a soft red glow.
Taj Mahal at sunset – Sun plays it's final trick in the book by lending Taj Mahal a different appearance with the shades of fiery yellow being transformed in to soft exotic orange and finally to pearl white again, until the full moon prepare itself to accompany the Taj all through the night while dazzling the world with it's quite heavenly elegance.

Mumtaz Mahal to Taj Mahal
Mumtaz Mahal's real name was Arjumand Bano. She was born in Agra to a family of Persian nobility. Her father was a wealthy Persian noble, holding high office in Mughal empire. Her father name was Asaf Khan and was brother of Nur Jahan (wife of emperor Jahangir). After marriage, Arjumand Bano was renamed as Mumtaz by Shah Jahan in 1612. After the Mumtaz get married to Shah Jahan the family went even more influential because two members i.e. Nur Jahan and Mumtaz were from same family. Mumtaz was very clever and influential like her Aunt but she was not too much known publicly so there was much less written about her. Shah Jahan often takes Mumtaz Mahal with him during military expeditions as she act as advisor in political matters. In those days, Shah Jahan was on another military expedition at Asirgarh fort of Burhanpur, in today's Madhya Pradesh state. Mumtaz Mahal was pregnant. She was about to gave birth to her 14th child but physically she is not fit to become mother of another child. After giving birth to her 14th child named Gauhra Begum, her physical condition deteriorated and ultimately she died in Burhanpur on 17-June-1631. Post death rituals were performed their and body was also buried at Burhanpur (M.P.) their for next 6 months. Later in December 1631, her body remains were shifted to Taj Mahal site. Out of 14 children of Mumtaz Mahal, 7 were survived to adulthood.

Death of Mumtaz Mahal had broken Shah Jahan from deapth as she was important part of his life and death has created a vacuum in his life. As already mentioned, Mumtaz Mahal was not only a beloved wife but also a friend and advisor for Shah Jahan. He had full faith and reliance on Mumtaz Mahal's advises. After her death, Shah Jahan mourn for a long time in seclusion. He closed himself in room and spend long time in solitude without having any public appearance. After passage of this period, when he came out, he was suddenly seemed much older than his previous looks. After all the rituals he planned for her grand memorial. During Shah Jahan's reign there were garden lining both banks of the river and it was one of this gardens, belonging to Raja Jaisingh of Amber, Which Shah Jahan selected as the burial place of his much loved wife. Shah Jahan presents Maharaja Jai Singh with a large palace in the center of Agra in exchange for the Land. History of Taj Mahal is an expression of great love between an emperor and his queen, made it more remarkable. Taj Mahal Architecture is blend of three different styles as Persian, Islamic, Indian Architecture. It was started in 1632, Main building has completed in 1643 and it takes more 10 years to made it's surroundings. The Taj Mahal was constructed using material form all over India and Asia. It is believed over 1000 elephants were used to transport building material. 20,000 workers including masons, stone cutters, carver, in-layers, painters, calligraphers, dome-builders and other artesian called on from all over the Central Asia and Iran. The Main architecture of Taj was Ustad Ahmed Lahori and Ustad Isha. Not just Taj, even structure alongside is add to architectural beauty and the artistic wonder to the place. The total cost has been estimated to be about 32 million Indian rupees.

About Taj Mahal
Here we have discussed about the details of Taj Mahal architecture, building parts, construction etc. Monument covers an area of 42 acres in total land on right-bank of Yamuna river. It is facing south-direction which means Yamuna river is on back of Taj Mahal complex. The main gateway situated at the end of the long watercourse, decorated in calligraphy with verses from Holy Quran. It is made up of red-sandstone. The domed central chamber, was constructed form the period of 1632 -1638. The original door of this massive sandstone gateway was made out of solid silver. The main gateway of Taj Mahal stands bordered with Arabic calligraphy of verse from the Quran, made up of black stone. The entire Taj complex consist of five major constituents, namely Darwaza (Main gateway), Bageecha (Gardens), Masjid (Mosque), Naqqar Khana (rest house) and Rauza (Main Mausoleum). The Main Tomb of Taj Mahal stands on a square platform that was raised 50 mtrs. Above the river bank. The domb is nearly 35 mtrs high. Because of it's shape, the dome is often called an onion tomb or Amrud. The top is decorated with Lotus design. The shape of the dome is emphasized by four smaller dome (Chattris) placed as it's corners, which replicate the onion shape of the tomb. The western side of main tomb has the mosque and on the eastern side is the Naqqar Khana (Rest House) both made in Red Sandstone. The both structure not only provide an architectural symmetry, but also make for an aesthetical color contrast.

Out of the total area of 580 meter by 300 meter, the garden alone covers 300 meter by 300 meter square called Char bagh or Mughal Garden. The Garden Used raised pathways that divide each of the four quarters of the garden in to 16 sunken patters or flower beds. The raised marble water tank which is in the center of the garden called Hawd-E-Kawthar. The design of this garden inspired by the Persian gardens, was introduces in India By Babur. Most Mughal charbaghs are rectangular with a tomb or a pavilion in the center. The Taj Mahal complex is bordered on three sides by crenelated red sand-stone walls; the side facing river is open. There are several additional mausoleums, including those Shahjahan's other wives and a large tomb for Mumtaz's favorite Servant.

Location
Taj Mahal location was clearly a well thought out decision by Shahjahan who choose a peaceful site about one and a half miles away from Agra at the southern edge of the city at banks of the river Yamuna. Monument is situated at latitude of 27° 10 minutes 28.67seconds north of Equator and have a longitude of 78° 2 minutes 32.05 seconds east of the Greenwich median. It is conveniently located at a distance of 6kms from the Agra city center and is easily accessible by auto rickshaw, battery-driven bus or a cab. With the city being well connected by national highways, it is easily accessible through road from all major cities. Taj Mahal is at the 10-15 minutes walking distance from Agra fort railway station. Taj Mahal is in Eastern region of Agra City on the right bank of Yamuna river. Another UNESCO World Heritage site: Agra Fort is on west of Taj Mahal complex. It is approximately 210kms from Delhi in south direction. City has many railway-stations which make it easy to reach Agra by train and do local city tour on taxi. We are providing tourist taxi service for local city tour.

Best time to visit
Taj Mahal monument complex is such a beautiful and heavenly place that its best time to visit cannot be notified in months or days. Whenever we get the time to visit, that will be the best time to visit Taj Mahal. Still as per tourism season in India from October to March, majority of Foreigner tourists register their presence in this monument complex and feel lucky to be here. As Taj Mahal is made up of Marble thus, time to time its maintenance is done. During such maintenance work, some of the under-maintenance part was kept under-cover which may cause problem in photography so one should gather such information in advance to schedule the tour plan accordingly. Similarly in period from 15-Dec to 20-Jan, North India received severe cold waves, causing fog in atmosphere which put brake in timely movement of train and flights. As flights are not a popular medium to reach Agra but train and taxi are affected by fog, causing delay in hours. This factor should also be kept in mind while planning our tour. As Taj Mahal remains CLOSED on every Friday so this day should be avoided for Taj visit. Those who love to attend events then they should plan Taj visit during period of "Taj Mahotsav" (in Feb end or March beginning) event or "Taj Balloon Festival" (in Nov. month) event.

Attractions near Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is located in Agra city which was the capital of Mughal Empire for a long time thus it is obvious that it is surrounded by so many popular monuments and heritage marvels. Thus here we have arranged list of some of the popular tourist attractions near Taj Mahal. In fact, apart from the Taj Mahal, Agra boasts of a number of monuments and places to visit that are quite magnificent in their own right and are worth visiting. So, if you are planning to visit Agra the next time, don't forget to spare a couple of days, for the city has a lot more to offer than the splendid Taj. Given below is further information on the popular attractions near Taj Mahal at Agra.

Agra Fort

One of the famous tourist places near Taj Mahal, India, is the Agra fort. Situated near Taj Mahal, it was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in the year 1565. However, numerous additions were carried on in this fort, till the time of Shah Jahan. A beautiful example of Mughal architecture made up of entirely of red sandstone, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra

The tomb of Akbar, situated at Sikandra, is the last resting place of the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the Great and is only 13 km from the Agra Fort. The architectural style of this tomb is quite different from almost all the other tombs of the Mughals. This pyramidal tomb was completed by Akbar's son Jahangir in the year 1613 and has the 99 names of Allah inscribed on it.

Fatehpur Sikri

The deserted city is situated near Agra. Constructed by Mughal Emperor Akbar, it was completed in the year 1584. Located 35 Km from Agra, served as a Mughal empire from 1571-1585. It's also one of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites situated in Agra.

Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb

Noor Jahan, the wife of Jahangir, got the Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb constructed in between 1622 and 1628 AD. It was constructed in the memory of her father Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg. Located on the left bank of river Yamuna, the tomb is an opulent structure and also called as baby Taj. More..

Mankameshwar Temple

About 2.5 km from Taj Mahal and less than 1 km away from Agra Fort is located one of the four ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva that stand on each corner of the Agra city. It is surrounded by the markets of the Mughal era gone by.

Ram Bagh

Build by Babur in 1528, Ram Bagh is the oldest Mughal garden in India. Located on the banks of river Yamuna, less than 3 km away from Taj Mahal, it was designed so that the wind from the river coupled with greenery would help maintain cool during the peak summer days. The original name of this garden was Aram Bagh or the Garden of Relaxation.

Swami Bagh Samadhi

Swami Bagh Samadhi, the construction of which started more than a century ago in 1904, continues till date. It is often touted as the next Taj Mahal, as a colorful combination of marbles and carvings in stone that are believed to be not seen anywhere in India. The monument holds the ashes of Huzur Swamiji Maharaj or Sri Shiv Dayal Singh Seth.

Vrindavan

The holy city of Vrindavan, situated near Agra, is one of the most revered pilgrimages in India of the Hindus. The city is very closely associated with Lord Krishna and is said to house as many as 4,000 temples, dedicated to Him.

Other Attractions

Other popular nearby attractions include Jama Masjid, built for Shah Jahan's daughter; Guru ka Tal, a holy place of worship for Sikhs; Chini Ka Rauza, dedicated to Prime Minister of Shah Jahan; Mariam's Tomb, wife of Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great; and Mehtab Bagh.

Impressions of Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is much beautiful than what we saw in media, images etc. Its first actual look will definitely impress anybody. This is the reason due to which it is called Marble Marvel. Since it is open for general public, it has been visited by many renown personalities of world and they express their views in form of some popular quotes. Here we have tried to showcase some of such popular quotes by popular personalities, from different fields. The stupefied exquisiteness coupled with pure brilliance of the monument has led to the emergence of these impressions. Go through them and see how the monument has awed left even the best of people speechless.
Rabindranath Tagore: The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.
Edwin Arnold: Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor's love wrought in living stones.
William J. Clinton: 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.
British painter, Hodges:"It appears like a perfect pearl on an azure ground. The effect is such I have never experienced from any work of art."
British officer, Colonel William Henry Sleeman's wife: "I cannot tell what I think. I do not know how to criticize such a building but I can tell what I feel. I would die tomorrow to have such another over me."
American novelist, Bayard Taylor"Did you ever build a castle in the Air? Here is one, brought down to earth and fixed for the wonder of ages".
Lord Curzon, the British Governor-General:"If I had never done anything else in India, I have written my name here, and the letters are a living joy."
Writer - Rudyard Kipling: "It seemed embodiment of all things pure, all things holy, and all things unhappy. That was the mystery of the building."

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