Thinking about heading to India and you will want to visit Taj Mahal. To bring you the best information, we went to an expert, and the guide below was written by Rudy
Taj Mahal is living proof of the love Shahjahan had for his wife, Mumtaz. The whole world praises the architectural excellence of this beautiful tomb, and this is why it is one of the seven wonders of the world.
Almost 8-10 million tourists from different parts of the world come to see and enjoy the beauty of this building. No one can explain the splendor of this structure as words would not be enough to explain the beauty of the elegant building.
About Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is undoubtedly one of the many excellent Islamic artistic works in India. It took from 1631 to 1648 to build this outstanding structure. Shajahan engaged almost 20,000 workers to build this tomb.
Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built with marbles and is the resting place of Shahjahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It stands on the banks of the river Yamuna, and a beautiful 70 acres garden surrounds this tomb, making it more alluring.
Before UNESCO declared this building as one of the world heritage sites, it was well recognized as the most visited place in India. This tomb is an epitome of love and Shahjahan’s imaginary paradise, where he believed his beloved wife went after death.
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History of Taj Mahal
The fifth Mughal emperor Shahjahan hired masons and architects from different parts of the Indian subcontinent and Persia (present-day Iran), with Ustad Ahmed Lahori as the main architect.
Shahjahan married Mumtaz Mahal when she was only 14 years old and had 14 children with her. Among his several wives, the king adored Mumtaz Mahal a lot. She died while giving birth to his 14th child, and the emperor was overwhelmed by grief due to her untimely death.
He wanted to build a heavenly tomb to commemorate the death of his wife and summoned marble from Rajasthan, Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, jade, and crystal from Srilanka.
The monument changes its colour several times during the day. At dawn, it adorns a beautiful pink colour. In the afternoon, it turns milky white, and at dusk, it reflects the golden colour of the setting sun. At night, it adorns the attire of a beautiful fairy and appears silvery-white colour.
When this mission to construct a monument was commissioned, elephants carried all kinds of construction materials from different parts of the country. Now, the Archaeological Survey of India takes care of the monument from pollution. From time to time, the government passes many legislative measures to protect this historical monument from damage and destruction due to several human activities.
Taj Mahal architecture
The architectural style of the Taj Mahal is a combination of Persian, Turkish, and Indian styles of construction. Taj Mahal is the result of the inspiration taken from the style of construction of Timur’s tomb and Jama Masjid in Delhi.
While all other constrictions during the Mughal period were using red marble, Shahjahan planned to use white marble with a combination of many semiprecious stones. To protect the structure and give strength to it, red sandstone is used. Taj Mahal consists of the cenotaphs of both Shahjahan and his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. But their tombs are engrossed inside the cenotaphs and rest beneath them.
The tomb is in the centre of walls made of red marble, and one of the sides is open that leads towards the river. In addition to this main mausoleum, there are other tombs for his other wives too. The tomb inside the Taj Mahal is placed at a height of 6.6 meters with a heavy base supporting the whole structure. There are interior chambers in an octagonal shape, which is connected through multiple passages.
Inside the Taj Malah
Everywhere inside Taj Mahal, you can find inscriptions in Arabic calligraphy containing the 99 names of Allah, and different screens. There are four minarets similar to those found in the mosques in all the four sides of the structure. These minarets are inclined towards outside of the structure to protect the main structure from any sort of damage due to falling of the minarets in case of any destruction due to natural calamity.
The dome at the right-centre of this structure is in the shape of a lotus petal, the height of which is 56 meters. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan spent 32 crore rupees ($4.5million USD) to construct the tomb for his beloved wife, the architectural splendour of which is discussed all over the world.
There is a masjid inside of the building and a resting place. One can’t completely explain the beauty of the architectural excellence of Taj Mahal without explaining the beauty of the gardens surrounding the structure. The Mughal rulers were fond of gardens as they believed that they reflected the wealth and prosperity of the kingdom.
Tickets, entry fee, and timings to visit the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is a wonderful place to visit for romantic couples and children. Taj Mahal, situated in Agra, is open on all days except on Fridays. The ticket cost for a person is Rs. 45 for Indians. For a foreign tourist, the cost is Rs.1050 ($14.70 USD).
If you want to visit the Taj Mahal, you can go at any time before half an hour before sunset, because it will be closed before the sun goes down over the horizon.
There are so many ways to get a ticket. You can book an online ticket from the website of ASI. When you log into their website, you have to submit your details like name, age, and the exact ID you will be providing them.
The maximum number of people you can book at one time is 20 adults and 10 children. It will take you the payment gateway where you can pay the total amount and confirm the slot for your visit. There are many other websites like yatra.com, to book the tickets.
Or click here for skip-the-line Taj Mahal admission (with optional other trips)
Best time to visit the Taj Mahal
You can enjoy the surreal beauty and serene environment of Taj Mahal anytime during the year. It would be advisable to visit during the winter season (November to February) to protect yourself from the scorching sun. Otherwise, it would destroy the fun of enjoying, watching this historical monument. You should avoid visiting the Taj Mahal during the monsoon season (July to Mid September) as well.
It would be fantastic to view the rising sun from the building as it appears pink in colour just after sunrise. If you want to enjoy the rising sun, get out of your resort as early as 5.30 AM. You would have to stand in a queue before you can head to the building.
How to get to the Taj Mahal, Agra
You can reach Agra via Delhi, Jaipur, or Gwalior. You can travel by road or train to get here. Many tour operators club all three places and facilitate the people to enjoy all the tourist spots in and around Gwalior, Jaipur, and Agra.
This is an excellent plan that allows you to be cost-effective. You can either take a bus or taxi to reach Agra by road. If you hire a taxi, you can ask the driver to stop at Sikandra, Mathura, to pay a running visit to these places. You can also visit Fathepur Sikri and Abneri on the way to Agra.
If you plan to travel by train, book your tickets in Shatabdi express or Taj express. There is a Khajrao express that will take you to Agra. There are regular trains that go to Agra from all these three neighbouring cities.
Places to visit near Taj Mahal
This beautiful fort is the main fort where the Mughals lived during their reign. The Mughal ruler Akbar built this fort and used it for military operations. But Shahjahan made it a palace. This is another monument that is declared as the world heritage site by UNESCO. This fort retains its glory, even though the later rulers, including the British, destroyed a major portion of the fort when they used this building for military purposes.
Click here for price and reviews of a private Taj Mahal and Agra Tour by express train from Delhi.
The first among the Mughal emperors, Babur, built this Mehtab Bagh. He constructed 11 gardens, along the banks of the river Yamuna. The gardens in the Taj mahal stand in a straight line to the gardens in Mehtab Bagh. You can cherish the sight of the Taj Mahal mausoleum standing from Mehtab Bagh.
The third Mughal emperor, Akbar, built Fathepur Sikri – also called the city of victory in Urdu. This city was the capital of the Mughal empire for 13 years. He built this fort to express his happiness when the Sufi saint’s words that Akbar will get a male heir to his throne became true. He built the famous mosque Jama masjid and palaces for three of his wives.
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When will you visit the Taj Mahal?
About the author
Rudy is an avid traveller and writer who blogs about travel tips and guides to some of the best destinations in India at Travel India Travel He has travelled extensively across all the major states in India. He loves to walk around cities, spend time in museums, explore forests and try out new vegetarian cuisines wherever he travels.
- Banner image by Kyle Hasegawa
- All other images on this page are copyright Rudy of Travel India Travel, the page author.
This is a great guide! I’ve never been to the Taj Mahal but it’d be awesome to get to go explore someday!
Such a comprehensive guide. I am saving it for when I can next make it to India.
The Taj Mahal appeals to us on so many levels – the romance, for sure, but it piques our interests in architecture and design, too. It has stood the test of time – literally and figuratively! – and influenced thinking around the world. Would love to see it, especially at sunrise.
I never knew so much about it before! Very captivating!
I see it as a romantic love story more than just a tourist site! This is absolutely the place I will visit for an India trip!
This is such an well organised and easy to read blog post – thank you! I’ve been looking into going here.
I have seen this marvel more than once and each time it never ceases to amaze me. You are right about getting here at Sunrise. Not only you get the best view but also, the fact that you have very little crowds….Mehtab bagh is great to catch the Taj from the other bank.
What a great shot of the Taj Mahal, glad to see that the scaffolding has been removed. Getting there at sunrise would be my first choice, less people, great shots. 🙂
I must say amazing guide on Taj Mahal with all tips and details about this place and all other useful information. I too vouch that this beautiful structure looks amazing during sunrise due to pink shades but if you visit on full moon day, then it looks like milky white structure which is a magnificent view too. It is great we can book the tickets online. Summer in Agra is very hot and I too not recommend going this time as many times temperature reaches above 40 deg Celsius.
The Taj Mahal , so world famous and what a sad love story behind it. This for sure attracts all romantics at heart. I wonder if I would visit India someday as I am a little bit turned off by the crowds. But if and when I do, I will make it there at sunrise to catch this majestic beauty with a nice natural backdrop.
Taj Mahal is indeed a monument for love (lost love!), but the story behind it is very sad. This poor girl would have probably lived a long and happy life, but for having to give birth to all these children! I’d love to visit Taj Mahal someday, but India is one of those countries that attracts me and scares me at the same time. Too dirty!
I would absolutely love to visit the Taj Mahal someday. I will take your advice when I do visit and get there are sunrise. I’m sure it is still packed with tourists at the time, but hopefully it would be a little better than mid-day. It would be beautiful to see it with a pinky hue!
Of course I knew about the Taj Mahal and hear about it often, but I have to admit I never knew it was a mausoleum or the story behind it. I bet it would be wonderful to visit the Taj Mahal at sunrise. Good to know it’s best to visit from November – February. Thanks for all your tips on how to visit!
It seems impossible to build such a detailed structure during that period of time. – Margy
Your article has brought back my memories. I was at the Taj Mahal in 2008. The place is delightful. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world I have seen so far. Now there are more tourists and prices are also higher than they used to be, but I’d love to come back there again.
Linda (LD Holland)
We did a great organized tour to visit the Taj Mahal at sunset and then again early at sunrise. We really just had to go where we were told. But your tips are good one. The Taj Mahal did indeed look stunning at sunrise with the pink colour shading the buildings. And the crowds were a bit smaller than at sunset. We loved visiting the Agra Fort (or Red Fort) and found it quite stunning. It was fun to get a view back to the Taj Mahal.
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Expensive for tourists but that’s probably how they cover maintaining it.
Would definitely want to see it at dawn.
That’s one place I would love to explore. Beautiful.
Have a fabulous day, Rhonda. ♥