If you are looking for an unforgettable adventure in India, I would encourage you to explore the iconic Taj Mahal!
This splendid architectural masterpiece has also been listed as UNESCO World Heritage since 1983 and is one of the seven new Wonders of the World.
Travel tips to visit the Taj Mahal
- From Delhi, it takes around four hours by bus to reach the city of Agra.
- If you want to spend a night in Agra, I recommend you the Hotel Crystal Sarovar Premiere – ask for an upgrade to a Premium Suite for a view of the Taj Mahal from your bedroom!
- The best way to move around is the auto-rickshaw – order one via Ola or Uber – this will allow you to go easily through the small streets of Agra!
- Many shops are located along the entrance to access the Taj Mahal, where you can negotiate beautiful souvenirs.
- Sunrise and sunset are the best times to visit the Taj Mahal – offering fantastic colours and perspectives!
- The entrance fee for foreigners is 1,000 INR (including a tourist guide)
- From your first steps in the site, many photographers will offer you their services. Do not hesitate to negotiate a reasonable price, so you will keep beautiful memories and support local tourism!
- Watch out for pickpockets, you will need to keep an eye on your belongings at all times!
A breathtaking architecture
The historic site is surrounded by a large wall whose imposing entrance door, built-in red sandstone and white marble, stands in front of the crowd who rushes to discover the iconic Taj Mahal! You can notice a double row of eleven small domes on its top, they symbolize the 22 years necessary for the completion of the Taj Mahal.
It is with astonished eyes that the crowd discovers this architectural masterpiece of the 17th century! After a long stroll in the gardens embellished by a photo session, it is time to discover the interior of the Taj Mahal. You will have to climb the steps to access the main platform which offers a fantastic panoramic view!
The symmetrical decor made up of gardens and fountains forms a symbolic figure. Indeed, four squares are subdivided into four, the whole forming the number 16, while the structure consists of 48 aligned fountains. This gives the number 1648 – year of completion of the main building of the Taj Mahal.
It is time to finally discover the interior of the Taj Mahal where the crowd gathers in a deafening echo around the marble tombs of the royal couple. The guide tries its best to show us the different stones on the walls. He draws our attention to a very particular orange-coloured stone. Unlike the other ones more opaque, this one takes the appearance of a flame when you throw light on it.
The exterior architecture is just as sumptuous! On the wall of the main building, you can even see an optical illusion on the pillars, creating a deeper effect in the decor.
Furthermore, the two huge reddish mosques located on the corner of the structure, decorated with marble and semi-precious stones, are just as remarkable as the Taj Mahal!
A love story at the origins of the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal was originally built in praise of the lost love of Emperor Shah Jahan, his third wife Mumtaz Jahan. Erected in memory of his beloved deceased during her 14th childbirth, the emperor called on no less than nine architects to create this mausoleum with majestic architecture, supposed to represent heaven on earth!
The work begun in 1632, it took no less than 22 years to complete the construction of the main building and a few more years for the gardens and the interior courtyard. This construction is still considered today as an architectural masterpiece, emphasized by perfect symmetry.
The Taj Mahal was built to hold only one coffin. But the legend said that shortly before dying, Emperor Shah Jahan asked his first daughter to be buried alongside his true love.