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What to See in India
Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Fast Fact
Location : Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
Built By : Shah Jahan
Built In : 1653 A.D
Open to Visitors : From sunrise to sunset (6 A.M to 7 P.M). Taj Mahal is closed on Mondays. (Information is subject to change)
Entry Fee : Rs. 20 for Indians and Rs. 750 for foreigners. Entry is free on Fridays. No entry fee is charged for children below 12 years. Information is subject to change

Overview
The Taj Mahal, arguably the most attractive mausoleum in the globe is a symbol of immortal love. Built by the 5th Mughal emperor Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, this monument in white marble is also said to be a noble tribute to the grace of Indian womanhood. The beauty and grandeur that the Taj possesses could hardly be surpassed by any other monument in the world. The Taj is also said to be one of the largest and most expensive mausoleum built by any man on earth.

Reaching the Taj
Air : Agra is easily accessible by air from all major destinations of India.

Rail : Express train services connect Agra to many destinations of India. India's premier luxury train The Palace on Wheels also covers Agra.

Road : Deluxe bus services are available to Agra from many destinations of northern India. Agra is situated at a distance of 203 kms from national capital Delhi.

History
It is widely believed that the name 'Taj Mahal' is an abbreviated version of Mumtaz Mahal's name. Just before her death in the year 1630, Mumtaz Mahal had wished before Shahjahan that he build such a tomb in her memory that the world had never seen before. . The construction of Taj Mahal began in 1631 A.D and completed in1648 AD. It is estimated that twenty thousand workmen toiled day and night for full 17 years to complete this magnificent monument. According to the inscriptions found in the Taj, Amanat Khan Shirazi was the calligrapher while Ustad Ahmad Lahauri was the designer of this great monument.

Architecture
The Taj Mahal is a massive complex consisting of a main gateway, an elaborately laid beautiful garden, a mosque and a prayer house, outer enclosures and the enclosing walls. The main monument covers an area of 93.9 sq. metres and is set on a raised platform that measures 6.6 metres from the ground. There are four intricately carved minarets on all four sides with each minaret rising to a height of 41.1 metres. The mausoleum has been built in white marble but buildings flanking the tomb to the west and east have been built in red sandstone. The water causeway and fountains have been built in perfect symmetry with the tomb and gateway.

Meticulously done stone inlay works adorn the surfaces both inside and outside. The stone carvings include inscriptions from the holy Q'uran, many geometrical shapes and a variety of plant and flower forms. Borders have also been inscribed to separate the carvings into blocks. Such is the precision of marble and precious stone inlays that the seam can hardly be detected. From the ground, all the letters of the inscriptions from the holy Quran look perfectly uniform but in reality some letters are bigger than others. The whole monument is actually a sum of many parts but all the parts fit perfectly to give the Taj the look of a united structure with diversity.
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What to See in India
What to See in India
Taj Mahal Agra
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