The Taj Mahal, situated at Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most enchanting architectural wonders in the world. The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, Arjumand Bano Begam, who later became known as Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz died in 1630 while giving birth to their 14th child. The emperor, who had promised to build the Taj for his wife, was devastated due to her death. The empress was buried at Behrampur, where the monument was to be built, initially, but due to problems in transportation another site on the banks of the river Yamuna was chosen. The construction of this most beautiful mausoleum in the world began in 1631. It took 22 years and thousands of workers working day in day out to build the monument.
The Taj is a beautiful marble structure built on a red sandstone base combining the Persian, Central Asian, and Islamic forms of architecture. It has been built absolutely symmetricaly with the only asymmetrical object being the grave of the emperor, which was placed their as an afterthought. The main features of the structure are the impressive carvings, the four 40-metre-high minarets and the gallant dome in between. The emperor was imprisoned by his son in the Agra Fort from where he could just catch a glimpse of the Taj, in his last days of life. The Taj Mahal has been standing proudly for years as a symbol of love, mesmerizing tourists with its sheer beauty.
The Taj Mahal is situated in the city of Agra, which was once a main centre of the Mughal empire. Agra is situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh in the northern part of India at a distance of about 200 km. from Delhi. Besides the Taj, Agra boasts other important historical monuments including the Agra Fort, Sikandra, and Itmad-ud Daulah's Tomb.
Attractions Around :Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
Agra Fort :
The Agra Fort, made of red sandstone, was built by Akbar in the year 1565. The structure which is a combination of different architectural styles, was built to act both as a royal residence and a military establishment. It is situated near the railway station on the banks of river Yamuna.
Fatehpur Sikri :
The deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Akbar in the 16th century. It is situated at a distance of just 40 km. from Agra and is one of the main tourist attractions around the city. The architectural brilliance of the place attracts many visitors.
Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb :
The tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah is situated about one and a half kilometres from the Taj. Its architectural brilliance and intricate carvings are often compared to the Taj. The mausoleum contains the grave of Mirza Ghiyas who was bestowed with the title of Itmad-Ud-Daulah
Akbar's tomb at Sikandra is one of the grandest monuments built during the time of the Mughal empire. It was started by Akbar himself but was completed by his son, Jehangir. The Buland Darwaza, a huge gateway, is a main attraction of the impeccable monument.
How to Reach
Taj Mahal has been a favourite destination for tourists from all corners of the world. A holiday in India is incomplete without a visit to this impeccable historical monument situated in the city of Agra.
- Agra airport is situated at a distance of just 7 km. from the city centre. Indian Airlines and other domestic airlines operate flights from all major cities of India. It takes just 40 minutes to reach Agra from Delhi.
- AgraBy Rail - Trains are available regularly which connect Agra to Delhi and other major Indian cities. The Shatabdi Express, Rajdhani Express, and Taj Express connect Delhi with Agra.
- The Idgah bus stand connects Agra to the neighbouring cities of Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura etc.
Once inside the city, you can choose from one of the local modes of transport like taxi, tempo, auto-rickshaw and cycle rickshaw to reach the Taj and other attractions in the city. Prepaid taxis are available on hire from bus and railway stations. No diesel or petrol driven vehicles are allowed near the Taj. Other options including battery operated buses, tongas and cycle rickshaws are available