Taj Mahal

4.9 / 5 127 votes

276 Hotels Found (View All)

View Hotels in Agra


Time Required: 2 hours


Sunrise to Sunset. Closed on Friday.

Entry Fee:

Indian Visitors and visitors from SAARC countries
Charges for Foreign Visitors: Rs 600
(There is an additional charge of INR 200 for every tourist who wishes to enter the mausoleum)

"A Monumental Ode to Love"

Taj Mahal, Agra Overview

What is widely considered as the most beautiful building in the world, Taj Mahal is located in the historical city of Agra. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Constructed entirely out of white marble in the 17th century, it is among the finest edifices of Mughal architecture. Recognised by the UNESCO as a world heritage site, this monument is also considered to be one of the seven wonders of the modern 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, and only a few leave disappointed. Shah Jahan said about the Taj that it made "the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes".

The Taj Mahal stands for the Crown of Palaces in the Persian language. It rises from the dust-beaten earth of Uttar Pradesh, but even the wildest imaginations leave visitors underprepared for this world wonder. Covering an area of approximately 42 Acres, the Taj Mahal was constructed using white marble obtained from Makrana in Rajasthan. 

Rabindranath Tagore described it as "a teardrop in the cheek of eternity" while Rudyard Kipling said it is "the embodiment of all things pure". The construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631 and took 17 years before it was completed in 1648! 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. The Taj, so majestic from the exterior, has equally splendid artistic work done in the interiors. 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!

More on Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal remains open every day from sunrise to sunset. However, it is closed every Friday.

The entrance fee for the five main sights of Agra - Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Akbar's Tomb, Fatehpur Sikri and Itimad-Ud-Dulah's Tomb - is made up of charges from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Agra Development Board (ADA). The entry ticket to Taj Mahal costs INR 750, out of which INR 500 is a special ADA ticket. It gives you savings on the other four sights when visited on the same day. It will save you INR 50 at Agra Fort and INR 10 each at the other three monuments. You can buy this ADA ticket from any of the five sights.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

1. 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. 

2. Cameras and videos are permitted. However, photography is prohibited inside the main mausoleum . 

3. Don't forget to retrieve your free bottle of water (500ml) and shoe covers which are included in the ticket price. 

4. You can store your luggage for free beside the ticket offices and also pick up an audio guide for INR 118.

5. 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.

Reaching Taj Mahal and getting around the city 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.

Top Hotels near Taj Mahal

  • The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra

    Starting from INR 19,333

  • Trident Agra

    Starting from INR 3,000

  • Max Guest House

    Starting from INR 720

Taj Mahal Reviews

6 months ago by Shashwat Kant

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 rush for night viewing. Head to deviram sweets after the visit for sumptuous breakfast of puri sabzi and jalebi.

2 months ago by supriya kolhe

This place is like heaven on earth. The best thing I liked about taj mahal is its architecture. at the centre of the taj mahal, the temperature nearly drops to 10 degrees. I loved this place.

2 months ago by MAHABIR SWAIN

Taj Mahal is the monument of love..Perhaps the finest love monument in the world.It is is the symbol how a husband loved to his beloved. After the the death of Mumtaz it was build by Shah Jahan from 1631 to 1653.

10 months ago by Gaurav Chaturvedi

It's a great indian heritage Taj Mehal or Tejo Mahalaya is great place it's symbol of love any couple who love each other must visit this place and look at the Glory of Taj as the love Mugal King Shahjahan And Lovely Queen Mumtaj Mehal.

10 months ago by Arushi Gorsi

You can never be prepared for the beauty of the Taj Mahal. I have visited the Taj Mahal a couple of times and each time, it has left me spellbound. The architecture is unmatched. The carvings are beautiful. The gardens are very well-maintained. There is a reason so much literature has been written about this place but no words can actually match the grandeur of this monument. It is especially beautiful at the time of sunrise as the sun highlights it and also during the night when the moon shines on it in all its glory.

10 months ago by Nehad Zein

A lot of things are unique to the Taj Mahal and a lot of them unmatched by other monuments around the world. But the symmetry of the building, especially when you look at it from a distance at dead-center, is quite spellbinding. The towering minars and the white grandeur of the tomb is very enchanting. The Taj Mahal gives you a certain feeling and its the feeling you that keeps wanting you to go back.

View All Reviews about agra >>
Add a Review

Latest questions by travellers on Taj Mahal

Ask a question from people who travelled to Taj Mahal recently