About Taj Mahal

Visit Taj Mahal

A white marble tomb built in 1631 - 48, the Taj Mahal is one of the most wonderful tourism destinations in India and is considered one of the greatest wonders of the world.

Commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who erected this monument in memory of his beloved wife, Arjumarid Bano Begum; popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal, who died in A.H. 1040 (A.D. 1630). Mumtaz Mahal last wish to her husband was "to build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before". Thus emperor Shah Jahan set about building this fairy tale like marvel.

The Taj Mahal is an example of Mughal architecture a style that combines elements from Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. It was chosen as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with the Agra Fort, 2.5 kilometers away.

Apart from the Taj Mahal, here are few other historical monuments in Agra:

  • The Agra Fort
  • Fathepur Sikri
  • Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra
  • Swami Bagh Samadhi
  • Jama Masjid
  • Ankit Ka Tal
  • Ram Bagh

Interesting facts about the Taj Mahal

  • The Taj Mahal took 17 years to build. It is estimated to have taken more than 22,000 people to build this impressive building.
  • More than 1,000 elephants were employed to transport the construction materials used to build the Taj.
  • Built by the Persian architect Ustad Isa.
  • The main dome measures 60 feet in diameter and 80 feet high.
  • The full height of the Taj Mahal is 171 metres (561 feet).
  • 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble of the famous Taj Mahal.
  • The four sides of the Taj Mahal are perfectly identical creating an astonishingly mirrored image on each side. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and symmetry of architectural elements.
  • Many precious stones were ripped off from its walls by the British during the Indian rebellion of 1857.
  • The Taj Mahal is said to be the most popular attraction in India for tourists from all over the world.
  • Some believe that Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal had planned to construct another Taj Mahal in black marble on the other side of the river but the war with his sons interrupted his plans. While there are some foundations to suggest that some construction was planned the theory of a black Taj Mahal.
  • Built in memory of the Emperors third and most favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal who died due to complications during child birth. She married Shah Jahan at the age of 19 and they had 14 children of which 7 of them died at an early age.

How to Reach Taj Mahal


By Air

The nearest airport to Agra is the Kheria Airport. Agra is connected to Delhi, Varanasi and Khajuraho by air.

By Train

There are four main railway stations in Agra; they are Agra Cantt, Raja-ki-Mandi, Agra Fort and Idgah Agra Junction. Your can find more information about train by visiting Indian railway. For Mannual Enquiry : 139

By Road

Main bus stations in Agra are at Idgah and Agra Fort. It is connected to Delhi and Varanasi By NH-2, to Jaipur by NH-11 and Gwalior By NH-3. The major road distances are :

  • From Mathura ~ 59 km
  • From Gwalior ~ 119 km
  • From gurgaon ~ 196 KM
  • From Delhi ~ 210 km
  • From Lucknow ~ 330 km
  • From Jaipur ~ 238 km
  • From Kanpur ~ 278 km

Timings of taj mahal

Timings: Every Day, (except Friday), Sunrise to Sunset
Night, 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM (On Full moon night, two days before and two days after)


Eating Out

Agra's street food is the best way to absorb the flavour of the city, it can be a bit dicey: the water quality isn't the best. If you want, try out the Petha, a type of sweet candy and Dal Moth, a spicy lentil mix. These two things are the specialties of Agra. Agra is also a heaven for Chat lovers. One can find Chat stalls at every corner. After meal, don't forget to round off your meal with a Paan (betel leaf with areca nut). If you don't want to take a chance with street food then you can look for any restaurants there.


Shopping

Shopping in Agra has many options laid out for you to please and entertain. Sadar Bazaar is one of the most popular shopping destinations for the tourist. It is located very close to Railway Station. Some of the famous items include handicrafts items like marble tabletops, semi precious stones, jewellery and hand made leather items.

Food related items can be purchased as Petha, Gazak, Dalmoth. Popular bazaars in Agra that you can visit include the Kinari Bazaar, Pratap Pura, Sadar Bazaar, Munro Road, Taj Ganj and Gwalior Road.


Travel Tips

  • Travel with your proper identification in a train or flight.
  • Get a prepaid taxi from airports or railway stations.
  • Get the idea about the season before traveling and carry the cloths accordingly.
  • Avoid revealing clothes especially when traveling alone.
  • Beware of fake items, especially the marble souvenirs if you buy from roadside sellers. Better to buy from reputable shops even though you have to pay more.
  • Remember to always bargain and slash the price as low as possible, because the prices quoted have been inflated many times.
  • When locals offer you help e.g. helping you to take photos, it does not come free and they will ask you for money after that.
  • Roadside cafes can be risky because of unhygienic cooking environments.
  • Drinking tap water can be a health hazard. Always carry mineral water bottles bought from a reliable store.

Local Transport

You can travel to different parts of the city using different modes of transport like Taxi, tempo, auto rickshaw and cycle rickshaw from Taj area. The city has various services like cycle rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and tongas for which rates can be negotiated as these are unmetered services available in the city. Prepaid taxis and autos from the railway station are available. It is to be remembered that no diesel or petrol vehicle are allowed to play in the Taj area to avoid any damage because of pollution to the marble structure of Taj Mahal . There are Battery-Operated buses, horse-driven tongas, rickshaws, and other pollution free vehicles are allowed to conserve the beauty of this great monument.

Bus services are run by Agra Municipal Corporation. These buses are also air-conditioned as well as non-air-conditioned.


Popular things

There are lots of handicraft emporiums that offer a variety of sandalwood and rose wood items along with brass decorative pieces and stone carved images.

One of the famous things Agra is known for is the sweet dishes like Petha, Gajak and Dalmoth (salty). Petha is good for summers and can last for about a month.


Cost to Travel within Agra City

Prepaid taxi is the most viable option to travel within the city for sightseeing. The packages may differ as the sightseeing locations are fixed as per the hours.


How many days are enough to travel?

It would depend on you, how much time you wishes to spend at the places; though several people visit Agra as day-trip.