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Exploring Taj Mahal – A Comprehensive Travel Guide

by jaypee_moderator   ·  5 years ago   ·  
Exploring Taj Mahal – A Comprehensive Travel Guide

If traveling into Agra just for the visit and not staying, then the larger focus will be on how to get to the destination. As opposed to this, if one is staying in Agra and let’s assume- looking for an Agra luxury hotel, then that element has to be considered too.

Exploring Taj Mahal - A Comprehensive Travel Guide

History of the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a world-renowned monument located in Agra, India. It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632 and took approximately 20 years to complete. It involved the efforts of thousands of skilled artisans, architects, and craftsmen from India and beyond. The main building materials were white marble, sourced from Rajasthan, and various precious and semi-precious stones.

The Taj Mahal’s design is a fusion of Islamic, Persian, and Indian architectural styles. The monument stands on a raised platform and is characterized by its iconic white marble dome and four minarets at the corners. The intricate decorative elements, such as delicate marble inlays, calligraphy, and geometric patterns, showcase the mastery of Mughal craftsmanship.

The Taj Mahal is not only a testament to architectural brilliance but also a symbol of love and devotion. It was built as a tribute to Mumtaz Mahal, who passed away while giving birth to their 14th child. The emperor’s grief and love for his wife inspired him to create a magnificent structure that would serve as her eternal resting place.

Today, the Taj Mahal stands as a UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts millions of visitors from around the world. Its pristine beauty, especially during sunrise and sunset when the marble glows in different shades, leaves visitors awestruck. The complex also includes a beautiful garden, reflecting pools, and other structures, adding to the overall grandeur of the monument.

The Taj Mahal is not just a remarkable architectural marvel but a symbol of enduring love. Its rich history, stunning beauty, and cultural significance make it one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, representing the splendor of Mughal architecture and the eternal bond between Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

Best Time To Visit The Taj Mahal?

The best time to visit the Taj Mahal is during the cooler months of October to March. The weather during this period is pleasant and comfortable, with temperatures ranging from around 10°C to 30°C (50°F to 86°F). This time of year, allows visitors to explore the monument and its surrounding areas without the discomfort of extreme heat.

Visiting the Taj Mahal in the early morning or late afternoon is particularly recommended. The soft light during these times enhances the beauty of the monument, casting a warm glow on the pristine white marble. Additionally, the crowds are generally smaller during these hours, allowing for a more peaceful and immersive experience.

It is important to note that the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays, so plan your visit accordingly. It is also advisable to check for any special events or public holidays that may attract larger crowds.

During the summer months of April to June, the temperatures in Agra can soar above 40°C (104°F), making it uncomfortably hot and humid. This period is not ideal for visiting the Taj Mahal, as the scorching heat can diminish the overall experience.

The monsoon season, from July to September, brings heavy rainfall to the region. While the crowds are relatively smaller during this time, the weather can be unpredictable, with frequent showers. It is recommended to check the weather forecast and plan accordingly if you choose to visit during the monsoon season.

Ultimately, the best time to visit the Taj Mahal is during the cooler months of October to March, preferably in the early morning or late afternoon. This ensures pleasant weather and allows for a more serene and memorable experience at this iconic monument of love.

What To Bring To Visit The Taj Mahal?

When visiting the Taj Mahal, it is important to pack essential items to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are some items to consider bringing:

Valid Identification

Carry a valid identification document, such as a passport or driver’s license, as it may be required for entry.

Comfortable Clothing

Wear lightweight and breathable clothing, suitable for the weather during your visit. Consider wearing modest attire out of respect for cultural norms.

Footwear

Opt for comfortable shoes as you will be walking and exploring the Taj Mahal complex. Choose shoes that are easy to slip on and off, as you will be required to remove them before entering the main mausoleum.

Sun Protection

Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat, and sunglasses, and applying sunscreen. The marble surfaces can reflect sunlight, so it’s essential to shield yourself from UV rays.

Water Bottle

Stay hydrated throughout your visit by carrying a refillable water bottle. There are water stations available within the complex to refill your bottle.

Snacks

Carry some light snacks to keep yourself energized during your visit. However, be mindful of littering and dispose of any waste properly.

Camera or Smartphone

Capture the beauty of the Taj Mahal by bringing a camera or smartphone to take memorable photos. Please note any restrictions on photography within the monument.

Cash

Carry some cash for entry fees, souvenirs, and any additional expenses you may have during your visit. There are ATMs and currency exchange facilities available nearby.

Wet Wipes or Hand Sanitizer

Maintain cleanliness and hygiene by carrying wet wipes or hand sanitizer for refreshing yourself during your visit.

Respectful Behavior

Lastly, bring a respectful and considerate attitude towards the monument and its surroundings. Follow the guidelines and instructions provided by the authorities to preserve the beauty and sanctity of the Taj Mahal.

By packing these essential items, you can ensure a pleasant and memorable visit to the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most cherished architectural wonders.

How Many Entrances Are In The Taj Mahal?

The Taj Mahal has four entrances, each located on one side of the monument. These entrances are strategically positioned to allow visitors to access the complex from different directions. Here are the four entrances of the Taj Mahal:

South Gate

The South Gate, also known as the Main Gate, is the primary entrance for visitors. It is the most popular entrance and leads directly to the main complex of the Taj Mahal. This gate is often crowded with tourists and has ticket counters and security checkpoints.

East Gate

The East Gate is another entrance to the Taj Mahal complex. It is located on the eastern side and provides access to the gardens and the Yamuna River. This gate is known for having a comparatively lesser crowd and can be a convenient option for entry.

West Gate

The West Gate, situated on the western side of the Taj Mahal, is a less frequently used entrance. It offers access to the Mehtab Bagh, a garden complex that provides a beautiful view of the Taj Mahal from across the river. This gate is popular among photographers and those seeking a tranquil view of the monument.

North Gate

The North Gate is the least commonly used entrance to the Taj Mahal. It is located on the northern side of the complex and is primarily used by residents and staff members.

Visitors can choose any of these entrances based on their convenience and the purpose of their visit. However, the South Gate is the most commonly used entrance for tourists and provides direct access to the main complex of the Taj Mahal.

Best Spots To Take Photographs

The Taj Mahal offers numerous picturesque spots for capturing stunning photographs. Here are some of the best spots to take photographs of the monument:

The Main Entrance

The area near the main entrance, with the grand gateway and the reflecting pool, provides an iconic backdrop for photographs. Capture the Taj Mahal’s magnificent silhouette framed by the archway as visitors enter the complex.

The Gardens

The beautifully landscaped gardens surrounding the Taj Mahal offer fantastic opportunities for capturing the monument from various angles. Explore the pathways and find a spot amidst the lush greenery to capture the Taj Mahal in all its glory.

The Diana Bench

Located on the southern side of the Taj Mahal, the Diana Bench is a popular spot for photographers. This bench offers a perfect vantage point to capture a symmetrical view of the Taj Mahal reflecting in the water of the reflecting pool.

The Four Corners

Move to the corners of the Taj Mahal to get unique perspectives of the monument. From the four minarets at the corners, you can capture different angles of the Taj Mahal and its intricate architectural details.

The Mehtab Bagh

Across the river, Yamuna, the Mehtab Bagh Garden offers a splendid view of the Taj Mahal. This spot is especially popular for capturing the Taj Mahal during sunrise or sunset when the soft light adds a magical touch to the monument.

The Yamuna River Bank

For a serene and reflective shot of the Taj Mahal, head to the banks of the Yamuna River. From here, you can capture the Taj Mahal’s reflection in the water, creating a stunning mirror image.

The Mosque and Jawab

The red sandstone mosque and jawab (mirror image structure) located on either side of the Taj Mahal offer interesting photographic opportunities. Capture the intricate details of these structures while incorporating the Taj Mahal in the frame.

Remember to be respectful of the rules and guidelines for photography within the Taj Mahal complex. Tripods and certain types of equipment may be restricted, so it’s advisable to check the regulations beforehand.

With these spectacular spots, you can capture the timeless beauty and grandeur of the Taj Mahal in your photographs.

Fun Facts About The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most renowned monuments, is full of fascinating facts that add to its allure. Here are some fun facts about the Taj Mahal:

Symbol of Love

The Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It stands as a symbol of their eternal love and is considered one of the greatest expressions of love in the world.

Architectural Marvel

The Taj Mahal is an architectural masterpiece. It combines elements of Islamic, Persian, and Indian architectural styles, creating a unique fusion known as Mughal architecture.

Changing Colors

The color of the Taj Mahal appears to change throughout the day. It appears pinkish in the morning, white during the day, and golden in the moonlight, creating a mesmerizing effect.

Precious Gemstones

The Taj Mahal is adorned with intricate inlay work using precious and semi-precious gemstones. These include jade, jasper, turquoise, amethyst, and more, adding to its opulence.

Perfect Symmetry

The Taj Mahal is perfectly symmetrical in its design, except for one thing. The tombs of Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal inside the monument are placed asymmetrically to maintain Islamic burial traditions.

Floating Minarets

The four minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal are inclined slightly outward. This design feature was intentional to ensure that in the event of an earthquake, the minarets would fall away from the main structure and protect it.

Impeccable Reflection

The Taj Mahal is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a reflecting pool. The pool is perfectly aligned to create an impeccable reflection of the monument, adding to its ethereal beauty.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Taj Mahal has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1983. It is considered an exceptional example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage.

Changing Decorations

The interiors of the Taj Mahal were once adorned with gold and silver decorations. However, these were stripped away by the British during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Inspiration for Other Structures

The Taj Mahal has inspired the construction of various other structures around the world, including the Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad, India, and the Taj Mahal Bangladesh in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

These fun facts only scratch the surface of the rich history and allure of the Taj Mahal. Visiting this remarkable monument provides an opportunity to appreciate its grandeur and learn even more about its captivating story.

Read also – Beyond the Taj Mahal: Hidden Gems to Discover in Agra

FAQS

How Long Does It Take To Visit The Taj Mahal?

The time required to visit the Taj Mahal can vary depending on various factors such as the crowd, your pace, and your level of interest in exploring the monument and its surroundings. On average, most visitors spend around 2 to 3 hours exploring the Taj Mahal complex. This allows sufficient time to admire the monument, explore the gardens, and visit the main mausoleum. However, if you have a keen interest in history, architecture, or photography, you may want to allocate more time for your visit. It is also recommended to arrive early in the morning to avoid the crowds and make the most of your time.

Best Day To Visit The Taj Mahal?

The Taj Mahal is open to visitors every day except Fridays. However, certain days may be more crowded than others. To have a relatively less crowded experience, it is advisable to visit on weekdays rather than weekends. Additionally, avoiding public holidays and school vacations can help you avoid larger crowds. Moreover, visiting the Taj Mahal during the cooler months of October to March is generally considered the best time. The weather is pleasant, and you can enjoy the monument without the discomfort of extreme heat.

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