Popularly referred to as ‘one of the seven wonders of the world’ – The Taj Mahal is not merely an attraction of the Agra city or India alone but is considered to relevant in the forum of global architecture. Built by Shah Jahan – The Magnificent, this mausoleum is an epic written in ivory white marble. Taj Mahal seven wonders of the world is the most glorious specimen of Mughal architecture. Built way back in the 17th century, it still never fails to awestruck the millions of visitors and tourists that come to witness its beauty year after year. Without a doubt the seven wonders of the world Taj Mahal is one of the main tourist attractions of the country and attracts millions of tourist not just from different parts of India but from all over the world every year. Taj Mahal Built By The Taj Mahal derived its name from the Persian language meaning ‘Crown of the palace’. The construction of the Taj was commissioned by Shah Jahan in the year 1631. The mausoleum was built in the memory of his loving wife Mumtaz Mahal who died on 17th June 1631 giving birth to Gauhara Begum, their 14th child. The construction of Taj Mahal was begun in your 1632 and was completed around 1648. However historians believe that the final completion of the Taj which included it’s other surrounding buildings and the garden was done by in the year 1653. The Taj contains the Tomb of Mumtaz Mahal as well as Shah Jahan. Taj Mahal Timings The Taj Mahal can be visited anytime from morning 6 o’clock to evening seven every day. However you must abstain from visiting the place on Fridays as it remains closed for prayers and other religious purposes. The authorities and the management of the monument keeps its gates open for night viewing on every full moon evening from evening eight thirty to half past midnight. Taj Mahal Information You can access the Taj Mahal through 3 different gates – East gate West gate and the South Gate. If you do an adequate online research you will understand that the South gate is the most preferable choice for you to visit the monument. The Southern Gate often sports the least crowd which is why you will not have to wait in long shoes as compared to the other Gates. The Western gate is mainly meant for the local visitors as a result of which the longest queues are found in this front of the monument throughout the day. If you are planning to use this gate arrive there by sunrise to avoid maximum crowd. Eastern gate is meant for the foreign visitors, which opens to some of the best hotels in the area. Hence if you get an advance ticket you can also try for an entry through the Eastern Gate. Night time viewing in Taj is suspended during the Ramadan month so please plan your visit accordingly. You can avail entry tickets to the Taj at a discounted rate from other attractions in Agra like the Agra Fort. However at the time of buying the ticket be sure to check the stamp date on your ticket as it remains valid only for the day when you are buying it. Taj Mahal Location & How to Reach: (Air Road and Train) Agra is well connected to the other parts of the nation through the network of railways and flights. You can reach Agra through train from any part of the nation. There are also innumerable flights that connect Agra to all the major cities of India. If you are travelling from cities in North India like Delhi, Jaipur, Chandigarh you can also come down to Agra through an efficient network of buses. Once inside the city of Agra any public or private transport medium can take you to the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal Ticket Entrance Fee As the entry fee to the Taj Mahal the Indian visitors will have to pay an amount of Rs. 40. Foreign visitors will have to pay an amount of Rs 600 to visit Taj Mahal. However every visitor will have to pay an amount of Rs 200 extra to visit the main mausoleum. This is a step taken by the ASI officials for a better crowd management in the monument. Taj Mahal Architecture & Important Structures Owing to its incredible architecture the Taj Mahal is often considered to be one of the most precious jewels of Muslim art and culture in India. The monument is constructed over a sprawling area of 42 acres. The main construction is surrounded by lush green spacious gardens beautiful pools and mesmerizing fountains. The Taj Mahal as a construction consists of five main structures. They are the Darvaza or the main Gateway, Bagicha for the Gardens surrounding the main mosque or the Masjid, the main mausoleum or the Rauza and lastly the Naqqar khana of the rest house. The central tombs located in the Taj Mahal have a diameter of 58 feet and has a height of 81 feet. This happens to be one of the main attractions of the building. It is built of pure white marble and is raised on a plinth of 50 above the river bank to avoid any kind of seepage at a later date. The Taj Mahal boasts of beautiful Minarets that are constructed on each side of the square rising to a height of 137m in height to further emphasize the pristine beauty of the historical dome. The tombs of Emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal lays inside the Taj Mahal. Both the Tombs initially were inlaid with beautiful and semi precious stones which were however plundered in the later ages. The Mumtaz Mahal Tomb features calligraphic inscriptions which were 99 names of Allah. Ustad Ahmad was the main architect of the building and belonged to the court of Shah Jahan from Lahore. Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world that also happens to be the perfect meeting point of Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural style. No wonder it still invokes immense awe and appreciation amongst the onlookers even in the present time. Best time to visit Taj Mahal The best time to visit the Taj Mahal is during the early summer months from March to June. Winters are not really a favorable time to see Taj in a complete glory as various parts of the monument are overshadowed by fog. Hence avoid visiting the monument during the month of November to February. Plan a visit during week days between Monday and Thursday. This is when crowd is the least in this historical heritage site. The Taj Mahal History The Taj Mahal one of the seven wonders of the world is a building that holds an immense importance in the history of the nation. It has a great architectural and historical value, but the romantic value of the monument is no less. Rabindranath Tagore had described the Taj Mahal as ‘A teardrop on the cheek of eternity’. The famous English poet Rudyard Kipling said that the Taj happened to be an embodiment of everything pure. Built under the aegis of Shah Jahan located on the banks of the River Yamuna, the monument had cost a whopping amount of Rs. 32 crores during that age. Rightfully the monument has been declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and commands respects and inspiration from all across the world. Legends say that nearly 22,000 workers were needed to complete the construction which included stone cutters, calligraphers, masons, painters, dome builders, carvers and several other types of artisans. Some of them were called from far off destinations of Iran and Asia. Historians have mentioned time and again that the Taj Mahal was an alcove of several precious and semi precious stones. Some of them were sourced from far off countries like Tibet, China, Sri Lanka, etc. construction material were brought in from various parts of the nation and nearly 1000 elephants were needed for the transportation purpose. The Taj Mahal stands five feet taller than the Qutub Minar. Nearly 8 million tourists visit the monument even in the current times. The marble reflects different colors depending on the source of the light, the sun or the moon. In the early morning hours the Taj efficate a pinkish color. When the sun is high up in the sky it reflects a milk white color. During the nighttime the monument gives off a golden hue. Places to Visit Near Taj Mahal Once you are done with visiting the Taj Mahal do not leave the other attractions nearby to the historical monument. Some of them are: – The Lal Qila or the Agra fort Fatehpur Sikri Itimad-ud-daula’s tomb Akbar’s Tomb Mahtab bagh Jama Masjid Soami Bagh Tiranga Chowk – Selfie Point All these places are just a few kilometers away from the Taj and can be easily commuted through private or public transport. You must plan the itinerary in such a manner that you complete all the locations that falls in a single direction. However many seasoned travelers and tourists have opined that it is best to cover these points first and keep the Taj Mahal for the last visit. The beauty of Taj is seldom surpassed by any other experience. 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