Sunrise at the Taj Mahal in India is truly a sight to behold. As the ancient wonder awakes, this is the perfect time of day to begin exploring the great Mughal Mausoleum. The air is cool, the people are sparse, and here you can enjoy some rare tranquil moments in the morning sun, often hard to come by in India.
Described by many scholars as the world's greatest monument to love, the pristine Taj Mahal in India draws upwards of three million visitors each year. Emperor Shah Jehan ordered the mausoleum be built to honour his wife, Mumtaz, after she passed away giving birth to their fourteenth child. Construction took over ten years and was completed in 1648. The Taj Mahal is now listed as both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.
Walking through the tomb itself can seem like an anticlimax following the stunning jaw-dropping entrance of the Taj. That said; the inner sanctum of the Taj Mahal is all about the details from inlaid semi-precious and precious stones in swirling vines, and delicate flowers with Islamic writing to the marble screens that allow visitors a view of the outside.
A pleasant stroll through the immaculately manicured gardens on a Taj Mahal tour is a great way to relax. If there is one thing that you want to be sure to appreciate during your visit, it is, of course, the view. On either side of the Taj there are contrasting red sandstone buildings which were used as a mosque and a guest house. The minarets which frame the Taj Mahal may no longer be as straight as when they were originally built, but still fittingly accent the raised monument.
Leaving the Taj Mahal complex, one is literally swamped by kids of all ages hawking everything from Taj Mahal snow globes to t-shirts. If you want any of the souvenirs, be prepared to bargain. As with any goods in India, particularly in the heavy tourist areas, the first price you'll be quoted will be greatly inflated. Be ready to barter when you come out.
To view the flawlessly beautiful Taj Mahal in India, the best time of year to visit is between October and November. During this time the skies will be clear of smog from the summer monsoon and the temperatures won't be searingly hot.
Odds n' Ends
There are many places to stay near the Taj Mahal, and even though it is walking distance from most guest houses, you will still find taxi drivers who want to drive you there and have you commit to spending the day in their rickshaw or car. This can work to your advantage as rickshaws are an inexpensive way to get around Agra, and this will save you having to bargain for every single ride. Negotiate a daily price and ensure that the price you agree on is for all in your party for the whole day.
The Taj Mahal is open Saturday—Thursday, 6 a.m. – 7 p.m., and costs approximately C$17 entrance fee.
Tour North India in absolute style, visiting some of the world's most famous physical, cultural and religious landmarks including the Taj Mahal, the River Ganges, the bazaars of Old Delhi and the World Heritage erotic temples of Khajuraho to name only a few. Add the colour and heritage of Rajasthan's Jaipur and Udaipur and this really is the trip of a lifetime.
Places to Stay Nearby
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Ecofriendly hotel.Next to Tajmahal. view of Taj from the hotel.A.C.Dlx,.A.C.Std.Rooms & A.C.swiss cottages available. restaurant,Room service, & open air restaurant Property belongs to U.P. State ... 0 miles away
The national capital of India has many tourist attractions, and the famous Bahai Faith Lotus Temple of Delhi is right at the top of the list. A visit to the Lotus Temple should be high priority for any trip to the Indian capital. Open to all faiths, the stunning lotus shape architecture of marble, cement, dolomite and sand sets the scene for meditation, peace and tranquility. The Lotus Temple is the main temple in India to represent the youngest of all the independent religions in the world. Its founder father, Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892), is regarded as the most recent in the ...107 miles away.
Experience iconic India – the buzz of Old Delhi's bazaars, the timeless perfection of the Taj Mahal, dusky-pink Jaipur and sky-blue Jodhpur, the golden fort city of Jaisalmer, and star-filled desert nights on camel safari. Take the journey of a lifetime through India's most enchanting and fabled places with this definitive guide.
Though readers may know that Shah Jahan of India's seventeenth-century Mogul dynasty built the Taj Mahal, an immense funerary garden palace and compound, in the memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz, Koch, architectural advisor to the Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative, provides groundbreaking analysis of the structure's architecture and importance. This gorgeous, large-scale, and accessibly scholarly volume combines eye-pleasing delight with detailed explanations of the monument's design, construction, symbolism, and history, including its sociopolitical context.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan erected the Taj Mahal in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan (then Prince Khurram) met Mumtaz Mahal (then Arjumand Banu Begum) at the age of fourteen and fell in love at the first sight.
An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.
Marte Jolbo, left, 20, from Stavanger, Norway, and Aina Brekke, 21, from Karmoy, Norway. The friends worked in a kindergarten to save up for their three-and-a-half month trip to India, where they have visited Bangalore, Cochin, Hampi, Goa and Varanasi, traveling by train, bus, rickshaw and camel.
THE most famous narrative of the Taj Mahal, India's transcendent tourist attraction, is the love story that prompted its construction: the death of queen Mumtaz during the birth of her 14th child; the grief of her emperor-husband, Shah Jahan; and his vow to build the world's greatest monument to love.
FOR the first-time visitor to India, the sheer vastness of the country — more than a million square miles — all but defeats the romantic notion of seeing all that this place has to offer in anything approaching the usual time frame of a normal vacation. Retirees no longer punching the clock, college students who want to take a couple of semesters off, backpackers on a global journey of exploration: these are the kinds of travelers that India seems made for.
The trouble with the Taj Mahal is that it has become so overlaid with accumulated meanings as to be almost impossible to see. A billion chocolate-box images and tourist guidebooks order us to "read" the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's marble mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, known as "Taj Bibi," as the World's Greatest Monument to Love.
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