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Tags : Forts & Palaces

Timings : Opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes after sunset
Closed on Friday
Every Friday Taj Mahal is only accessible to practising Muslims to attend the prayers in the afternoon

Time Required : 2 hours

Entry Fee : Indian Citizens and Visitors from SAARC countries: INR 50
Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries: INR 540
Foreign Visitors: INR 1100
(Additional INR 200 for every tourist who wishes to enter the mausoleum)
Entry is free for all children below 15 years

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"A Monumental Ode to Love"

Taj Mahal, Agra Overview

One of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is located on the banks of River Yamuna in Agra. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. Constructed entirely out of white marble in the 17th century, Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful monuments in the world. Every year visitors numbering more than the entire population of Agra pass through the magnificent gates to catch a glimpse of this breathtaking monument!

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal stands for the Crown of Palaces in the Persian language. The tomb is laid out in a rectangular shape and can be approached through a massive gateway which has an arch and alcoves on either side of it. There are water channels and fountains in the entrance which makes the monument even more spectacular. The reflection of this majestic spectacle in the Yamuna is almost poetic in its perfection!

Covering an area of approximately 42 Acres, the construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631 and it took 17 years before it was completed in 1648! It was constructed using white marble obtained from Makrana in Rajasthan.

Must Know Before You Visit Taj Mahal

Built By : Shah Jahan

Built in : Between 1631 and 1648

Entry Gates : Taj Mahal can be accessed through three gates
Tour groups enter through the east and west gates and independent travellers through the south gates
The east gate has the shortest queues
There are separate lines for men and women at all three gates

Tips :

  • Don't forget to retrieve your free bottle of water (500ml) and shoe covers which are included in the ticket price.
  • You can store your luggage for free beside the ticket offices and also pick up an audio guide for INR 118.
  • Visitors are allowed to use free Wi-Fi internet service inside the compound for half an hour, and then they will be charged at INR 30 per hour after the half hour is complete.
  • Battery buses and golf carts are available from parking to Taj Mahal

Restricted Items :

  • Drone is prohibited inside and around Taj Mahal
  • Eating and smoking
  • Mobile phones to be kept on silent or switched off mode
  • Photography is prohibited inside the main mausoleum
  • Mobile phone is banned for night viewing of Taj Mahal

Read More on Taj Mahal

Inside Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal can be accessed through east, west and south gates. Inside the grounds, the ornamental gardens are set on the classic Mughal charbagh lines (formal Persian garden). The monument stands on a raised marble platform at the northern end of the garden, facing its back to the Yamuna River. Its raised position is a masterstroke design as it leaves only the sky as its backdrop. Each corner of the platform is graced with 40m high white minarets. Taj itself is made of semi-translucent white marble, inlaid with thousands of semi-precious stones and carved with flowers. The four indistinguishable faces of the Taj are in perfect symmetry, featuring impressive vaulted arches containing pietra dura scrollwork and the quotations from the Quran. The whole structure is topped off by four small domes.

The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal lies directly below the main dome. It is an elaborate false tomb which is surrounded by an elegant marble screen inlaid with various types of semi-precious stones, offsetting the symmetry of the Taj. The light enters the central chamber through finely cut marble screens. These tombs are false tombs as the real tombs of Mumtaz Mahal, and Shah Jahan lies in a locked room below the main chamber.

The complex houses a red sandstone mosque to the west which is a significant gathering place for the Muslims residing in Agra. There is an identical building to the east, the Jawab, which was built to maintain symmetry. Within the Taj lies the small Taj Museum which houses many original Mughal miniature paintings. Its primary attraction is a pair of 17th-century ivory portraits of the emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. It also has some Caledon plates which are said to split into pieces or change colour if the food served on them contains poison.

History of Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal was built as a mausoleum by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. Her death left the emperor completely heartbroken, and his hair is said to have turned grey overnight. The construction of the Taj began in 1632. Th main building was completed in eight years, but the whole complex was not completed until 1653. Soon after the construction was completed, Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb and imprisoned in the Agra Fort. For the rest of his life, he could only gaze at his wondrous creation through a window. Shah Jahan died in 1666, after which his mortal remains were buried here alongside Mumtaz. 

Over 20,000 people from all over Indian and Central Asia worked on this striking building. Specialists were brought from as far away as Europe who produced the beautiful marble screens and marble inlay (pietra dura) which is made of thousands of semi precious stones. Taj Mahal was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. It looks as pristine today as it was first constructed. The monument underwent a massive restoration project in the early 20th century.

Facts About Taj Mahal

There is a well-publicized story that Taj Mahal was a Shiva Temple built in the 12th century which was later converted into the memorial for Mumtaz Mahal. This theory was developed by Purushottam Nagesh Oak. He filed a petition to have the sealed basement rooms open to prove his theory, but it was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2000. Another story is of the famous Black Taj Mahal. Many people believed that Shah Jahan planned to build an alter image of the monument in black marble on its opposite side, the work for which began before he was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. Extensive excavations were carried out at Mehtab Bagh, but no traces were found of any such construction. 

The famous legend related to the Taj Mahal is the mutilation of the craftsmen who constructed it. It is believed that on the completion of the construction, Shah Jahan ordered the hands of the project's craftsmen to be chopped off so that no other building in the world could be this beautiful again. However, there is no historical evidence to support this theory.

Click here to read 12 Facts About Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal at Night

Viewing the Taj Mahal at night is available on five days on a month, including a full moon night and two nights before and after the full moon. All these aspects, the dates and the timings for the night viewing of the Taj are decided by the Archaeological Survey of India. Viewing the Taj Mahal at night takes place between 8:30 PM to 12:30 PM in 8 batches of about 50 people for about 30 minutes each. Hence, only 400 people are allowed on a single night.

While visiting the Taj Mahal at night, visitors are required to reach half an hour before their scheduled time at the Shilpagram complex. They aren't allowed inside the monument at night and can view the Taj Mahal only from a bit of a distance. All belongings and luggage have to be deposited at a security counter before the night viewing starts. Video cameras are not allowed inside the monument during the night viewing.

Read more about visiting Taj Mahal at night

Taj Mahal Garden

The garden that beautifies the monument of love, beginning from the entryway and spreading across to the base of the mausoleum is one of the leading highlights of visiting Taj Mahal. The concept of this garden (popularly known as Paradise Garden), built in the Persian Timurid style, was brought in by Babur. A unique attribute followed while constructing this garden is the usage of the number four and its multiples. This was done as four is considered as the holiest number in Islam. The enchanting garden is divided into four parts, with two marble canals studded with the fountains occupying the centre. Each quarter portion of the garden has 16 flowerbeds each of which was planted with 400 plants. The Taj Garden abounds with lush trees, chirping birds, fruits, flowers and symmetry, signifying the abstract meaning of paradise. This quaint setting makes for a wonderful backdrop for those perfect shots.

Best Time to Visit Taj Mahal

The best time to visit Taj Mahal is unarguably the sunrise when it looks the most majestic. This is also the most comfortable time to visit because of fewer crowds. Another magical time to visit the Taj is the sunset. You can also visit it for five nights around the full moon. The entry tickets for this time is limited though, and it must be bought a day in advance from the Archaeological Survey of India office

How To Reach Taj Mahal

Reaching Taj Mahal and getting around Agra can be done in tongas, electric buses and tempos. There are also auto rickshaws and state buses. In order to minimise the effects of pollution on the monument, vehicles are not allowed in the vicinity of Taj and need to be parked in the parking lots that are at a short distance from the mausoleum. There are non-electric tourist buses for visitors from the parking lot.

Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort are quite close to each other, and if it's not too sunny you can just walk between the two. Otherwise, there are a lot of autos and battery-powered rickshaws plying between the two major monuments that charge a minimum amount.

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FAQs on Agra

In which state is the Taj Mahal located?

Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, is located on the banks of River Yamuna in Agra, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh

What is special about the Taj Mahal?

Taj Mahal appears to be of a different colour at different time of the day. It is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines.

When is the Taj Mahal closed?

Taj Mahal is closed every Friday. On Friday, is only accessible to practising Muslims to attend the prayers in the afternoon. If you wish to see the stunning exterior of the monument, visit the Mehtab Bagh on the opposite bank of River Yamuna.

What is the best gate to enter Taj Mahal?

Eastern Gate is the best entrance to Taj Mahal. It can be accessed through three gates. Tour groups enter through the east and west gates and independent travellers through the south gates. The east gate has the shortest queues. There are separate lines for men and women at all three gates

What is the story behind Taj Mahal?

The eternal love story behind Taj Mahal dates back to 1607. Shah Jahan, who was initially named as Prince Khurram was the son of Jahangir, who was the fourth Mughal emperor of India. Jahangir was the grandson of Emperor Akbar the Great who is considered as one of the finest Mughal emperors from the Mughal dynasty. In the year 1607, Shah Jahan was strolling down Meena Bazaar when his eyes caught sight of a girl selling silk and glass beads. It was love at first sight for Shah Jahan, and the girl hawking the beads was no other than Mumtaz Mahal, who was then known as Arjumand Banu Begum. She was a Persian princess who was 15 at that time while Shah Jahan was only 14 years old. Emperor Jahangir gave his nod for the match in the year 1612. Taj Mahal stands as a depiction of love which Shah Jahan had for his wife and was built in her memory after her untimely death.

Taj Mahal Reviews

Your rating

Shashwat Kant

on Taj Mahal 5 years ago
A place that makes you fall in love with it every time you visit. Do visit early in the morning around sunrise or if u r lucky visit on a full moon night (ticket cost 510 for night viewing). Huge rus (Read More)h for night viewing. Head to deviram sweets after the visit for sumptuous breakfast of puri sabzi and jalebi.

DharaNirav Buch

on Taj Mahal 2 years ago
It was awesome experience to the unique monument by your own eyes. Visited before Covid Era. Looking forward to such more trips

Varun Varun

on Taj Mahal 2 years ago
One knows that the is one amongst the world wonders one knows that is one amongst the UNESCO World Heritage sists one knows the as a leagend of eternel love of an emperor for his favourite gueen

Faizal Khan

on Taj Mahal 2 years ago
Good place and when I am go in Taj Mahal I fell like it's my emperor and Taj Mahal was beautiful monument in the world The Taj Mahal was an built by mugul emperor as a his third wife mumtaj mahal

Purva N

on Taj Mahal 2 years ago
It's a very beautiful monument to visit. The fact that it has been built by more than 22000 masons! How beautiful was the architecture of ancient times!!

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