Taj Mahal, Agra: A World Heritage Site

A Travel Guide to Taj Mahal

It is said that with Taj Mahal, Mughal Architecture reached its zenith. A UNESCO inscribed World Heritage Site, Taj Mahal in Agra is a symmetrically flawless charbagh mausoleum constructed entirely using white marble. Taj Mahal was recently voted as one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World.

Taj Mahal, Agra
The Taj Mahal is probably the most famous building in the world. Its picture has covered many magazines and travel brochures
The Taj Mahal is an elegant historical monument, located in the city of Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, in India, which holds a capturing distinction from architecture of pre-Islamic India and Indo-Islamic style of architecture.

The dense marble walls, heavy lintels and corbelled arches sum up the Islamic culture’s formal themes. With elements from Persian, Indian and Islamic culture, The Taj Mahal is one of the finest works of Mughal architectures.

Location: Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

Built by: Shah Jahan

Built in: 1632–1653

Highlights: Interior decorations, Exterior Decorations, Night viewing of Taj Mahal under moonlight, Beautiful Gardens, Grand outlying buildings, Tour of Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort.

How to Reach: Agra is well connected by roads to all the major cities in the country. It is connected to Jaipur by NH-11, to Delhi and Varanasi by NH-2 and to Gwalior by NH-3. Besides, the local airport at Agra, Kheria Airport is connected to Delhi International Airport. The distance from Kheria airport to Taj Mahal is 9 km. The city is well connected to almost whole of India through railway. The distance from Agra Cantt Railway Station to Taj Mahal is 7 km.

Best time to visit: Visiting Agra during summer takes a huge toll on tourists due to almost unbearable heat. Hence, the best time to visit Taj Mahal is between the months of October to March when the weather is comparatively cooler.

Entry Fee: 750 INR for Foreign tourist, 510 INR for Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries and 20 INR for Domestic/Indian tourists.

Timings: Sunrise to Sunset (Friday Closed)

Introduction to Taj Mahal

Located in the city of Agra, in Uttar Pradesh, The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful mausoleums, constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, in the memory of his late wife Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal has been made purely out of white marble and the view of the structure, in the black night, under the shimmering moonlight is an unforgettable spectacle.

The construction of the gigantic structure started around 1632, under the supervision of imperial rulers such as Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, Makramat Khan and Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan. By 1653, the Taj Mahal was built completely with the help of thousands of craftsmen and artisans. The Taj Mahal is a complex structure, though the most popular aspect of the monument is white domed marble mausoleum.

In 1983, Taj Mahal was recognized as a world Heritage Site by UNESCO and regarded as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." It is regarded as one of the finest examples of the magnificence of Mughal architecture, and hence, every year, tourists from all over the world visit The Taj Mahal to witness the historical monument.

History of Taj Mahal

Under the leadership of Shah Jahan, The Mughal Empire was in her greatest period of prosperity. But in 1631, the Emperor, Shah Jahan suffered a major setback when his third wife Mumtaz Mahal died during a child birth. Shah Jahan announced the Construction of the Taj Mahal in memory of her beloved wife and the construction for the same began in 1632.

The traditional love story that inspired the construction of Taj Mahal has been illustrated in the court chronicles of Shah Jahan. The construction of the principal mausoleum took 16 years and was completed by 1648. Five years later, by 1653, the surroundings gardens and buildings were built and the construction was finished.

Aurangzeb overthrew Shah Jahan, immediately after the construction of Taj Mahal, and put him under house arrest. After the death of Shah Jahan, he was buried in the mausoleum next to Mumtaz Mahal, by Aurangzeb.

The 19th century saw the defacing of the magnificent structure, The Taj Mahal, by the British government officials and soldiers who carved out lapis lazuli and valuable stones from the walls.

By the end of the 19th century, a restoration project was initiated by British viceroy Lord Curzon. The project was completed in 1908 with the construction of huge lamp in the interior chambers and the remodeling of gardens into British style lawns.

Today, The Taj Mahal is recognized as one of the seven wonders in the world, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations all over the world.

Some Interesting Facts about Taj Mahal

  • Approximately, 22,000 people took participation in building the structure including embroidery artists, laborers, stonecutters, painters and many others.
  • Rumors suggest that Shah Jahan planned to construct another Taj Mahal in black marble on the other side. His plans were thwarted by the ongoing battles with Aurangzeb.
  • It took approximately 17 years for the complete construction of Taj Mahal.
  • Taj Mahal’s complete height is 561 feet (171 meter).
  • During the construction of Taj Mahal, approximately 1,000 elephants were used for the purpose of transportation of the construction materials that were being used to build the structure.
  • The British government officials and soldiers dug out many precious stones and lapis lazuli from the interior walls of Taj Mahal.
  • The Taj Mahal is one amongst the World’s Wonders.
  • Taj Mahal is one amongst the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • The Taj Mahal holds a legend of eternal love of an Emperor for his beloved Queen.
  • Taj Mahal looks identical from all four sides and hence creates an astounding mirrored image on each side. The symmetry of architectural elements and principle of self-replicating geometry have been used during construction.
  • There are numerous gardens and buildings surrounding The Taj Mahal which constitutes 17 hectares of land within the complex walls.
  • One of the most popular aspects of The Taj Mahal is her varying in coloring during a day. In the early morning, the Taj Mahal appears pinkish hue and turns to milky white during the evening and in the moonlight, it appears golden in color. According to people, the different colors depict the varying moods of female kind, particularly the Emperor’s Queen, Mumtaz Mahal.
For travel related queries and more images of Taj Mahal you may visit the website TajMahalAgra.Com 


  1. Wow! That's quite some revelation. Didn't knew that Taj Mahal changes its color like a woman's mood :-)

    I wonder why people call it a symbol of love and that Shah Jahan built it out of his great love for his wife Mumtaj Mahal. Did you know that Mumtaj Mahal was the 4th wife of Shah Jahan who died giving birth to their 14th child. Now that's a load of love :-)

    This post could have been awesome with some additional practical information like restaurants near Taj Mahal and the gates of entry as well as some information on nearby hotels to stay.

    But nonetheless it's a valiant effort, a close thing to complete travel guide plan a trip to Taj Mahal.

    1. Thanks Nikhil for you suggestions and information.
      I'll Keep the suggestions in mind the next time I write about a travel guide.

      There are so many stories that revolve around Taj Mahal. Who knows which ones are true and which ones are myth. One that I heard about was that Shah Jahan ordered to chop the hands of the architects who designed the building for he did not want another such monument. Symbol of Love, right?

    2. yes that's one of the legend. But do you know a truth which not even so called experts on Taj Mahal know? Did you know that reflection of Taj Mahal in the pool is called Lahm Jat? And now that you know, do you wonder why it is so :-)

    3. Really? I did not know that.
      I do wonder why is it called so.

    4. Because its a mirror image :P


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