A proclamation of eternal love, this exceptionally beautiful monument in Agra induces the kind of gushing and respect only a ‘wonder’ can do.
The must-see marble masterpiece was built in 1653 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth. His dedication to her can be seen everywhere, from the elaborate marble patterns to decorative semi-precious stones. Visit at dawn and expect a spine-tingling, spiritual experience as this pearly white beauty shimmers in the sun’s first rays.
Taj Mahal Facts
- One of the most interesting Taj Mahal facts is that the building will appear to be a different color depending on what time of day it is, and whether or not there is a moon at night.
- The construction of the Taj Mahal took twenty two years to complete, and required more than twenty two thousand workers who were brought in from all over. There were more than one thousand elephants that were used just to haul the materials needed.
- One of the really interesting Taj Mahal facts has to do with the exterior pillars. These were placed at an outward tilt, so if an earthquake occurred the fall of the pillars could be controlled.
- One of the less common known Taj Mahal facts is that many jewels and semi precious gems were used to decorate the structure. Over the years and through a number of wars and pillages these jewels were removed, but you can still see where they were.
Taj Mahal Reviews
"I’m not normally that keen on super early starts whilst on holiday but now and then it pays to make an exception. Leaving my hotel at 5.30am I made the short journey the Taj Mahal grounds by riskshaw. Having got used to the somewhat chaotic roads it was a complete surprise to find them almost empty, not a single horn beeping during the journey. When I reached the entrance I was thrilled to discover there was only myself, my guide and a family of 4 at the site – almost unheard of when I’ve talked to others who have visited. The view as you step through the main gate is breathtaking, far more beautiful than any picture I had seen and made all the more so by the fact the crowds had yet to arrive. I spent several hours walking around the gardens, taking photos and learning about the design and the painstaking 22 year building project.
The entire site is symmetrical, the only exception being the position of the tombs. Originally the Taj Mahal was designed as the resting place for Shah Jahan’s favourite wife, Mumtaz, with her tomb placed in the exact centre. On his death Shah Jahan’s tomb was placed next to his wife’s which allowed him to rest with her but spoilt the perfect symmetry of the building. Although I took what seemed like hundreds of photos of the traditional view of the Taj for me I found that as I walked through the gardens and around the structure itself each aspect offered an equally beautiful view. Close up you can pick up the delicate coloured inlay work on the pure white marble, from the mosque to the west of the Taj you crane your neck to look up at the tall minarets and if you take a trip over to the Agra Fort you can view the Taj as Shah Jahan did whilst imprisoned here by his own son. If you are planning a visit any time soon make sure you go early, allow plenty of time at the sight and make time to enjoy the more unusual views as well as the more traditional pictures"
Hannah Methven - Product Manager
Our eight-day Moghul Highlights includes Delhi, Amber Fort, Jaipur and the Taj Mahal, from £1,233, including flights, accommodation and tour leader.