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One of the world's largest mausoleums, the Taj Mahal was completed in 1643 under Shah Jahan, who commissioned it in memory of his most beloved wife who died in childbirth. So what are the top architectural features you should watch out for?
Perhaps the most distinguishing part of the Taj Mahal, this massive feature crowning the building is popular not only in Islamic architecture but also Russian Orthodox.
The Taj Mahal is flanked by four tall minarets. In recent years, the Indian Archeological Society has expressed concern at the fact that they are beginning to tilt slightly!
The iwans are the pointed arches at the sides. If you take a closer look, you'll see they are decorated with intricate Koranic calligraphy.
The awesome tessellating patterns and sweeping geometry covering the inner walls of the Taj Mahal are proof of the confluence of science and art.
The Taj Mahal's white marble changes color with the time of day. Pastel pink or blue, dazzling white - if you spend the whole day there, you will experience the whole spectrum.
Please remember that the Taj Mahal is an Islamic building. Although no specific dress code is enforced, it's best to dress modestly out of respect - this means covering knees and shoulders.
If you want to avoid the lines, it's best to arrive at the Taj Mahal at the crack of dawn. If you're not a morning lark, don't worry - this is one of the most beautiful times of day to view the monument and its gardens.
Lockers are available, but please note that your bag is likely to be searched - no food is allowed to be brought into the Taj Mahal.
Although you might be stopping at the Taj Mahal via New Delhi, the nearby city of Agra is worth a visit, too. It's easy to combine your Taj Mahal trip with a tour to Akhbar's fort and the ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri.
- When should I visit?
- Open from sunrise to sunset daily, closed on Fridays.
- Is it expensive?
- Adult tickets start at just Rs710 (about $11) but go up once you add in tour packages and transportation.
- Will I need a guide?
- The Taj Mahal is one place where a guide will enhance your experience ten-fold. Look at a few different options in order to find the experience that works best for your group.
- How to get there
- Check trains departing from Agra for the easiest route.
- Additional information
- Ticket prices vary for domestic versus foreign visitors, but children under 15 are always free.
- Tickets can be purchased at the Western and Southern gates, and about 750 meters from the Eastern gate.
What people are saying about Taj Mahal
As the title says, it really is the most convenient way! Driver arrived on time to our hotel, took us to Delhi train station and waited with us at the platform until our train came, meals and water were provided on the train. Picked up at Agra station from the train by our private tour guide and driver and taken to the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and the Baby Taj, followed by a lunch (included in the price) and souvenir stop. Our tour guide brought every place we visited alive with a wealth of knowledge on every location and went above and beyond in capturing amazing photos of the whole experience for us. We were then taken back to Agra train station where the driver again waited at the platform for us to board our train and the same driver that took us to the train station in Delhi in the morning picked us up at the platform again. Over all this was an amazing, completely stress free experience that i couldn't recommend enough!
I visit India very often, if I am travelling with friend, I always make we make a whistle stop to the Taj and Agra Fort. Landing in Delhi at midnight, we were promptly pick up at 3am. Arriving into Agra bu 6h30. We were guided around the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort - with an interesting young guide. We saw everything we need to, without being forced to visit shops or factories. We left and were back around the pool in Delhi by 15h30. There is no need to spend any more time in Agra. It was the perfect trip!
This was an unforgettable trip to the Taj Mahal. Good drivers in India are a bit thin on the ground, our driver was excellent. We stopped for amazing Indian food on the journey. The new freeway is excellent. Our guide was senior, very knowledgeable as knew all the best spots for pictures. He let us take as long as we wanted to really appreciate the worlds largest monument to love. Recommended.
Tour, organization, guide, driver, all very good. However, the manager essentialy forces you to rate the tour positively on TripAdvisor on the spot (threatening to dismiss te guide if he does not get a good review). In addition, make sure they know lunch is included, they don't drop Baby Taj from the tour and be aware that a stop at a shop is also on the program.
I had the opportunity to take this day trip with Saeed from Keeper Landwey and it was a real pleasure. His endless knowledge is just incredible. He was also very kind and patient regarding my requests (lunch, historical questions, architectural questions, etc..). Do yourself a favour and book a trip with Saeed.