You can't visit India without visiting the world-famous Taj Mahal, and not without reason. It is one of the 7 wonders of the world. The Taj Mahal is located on a huge site and you will be amazed. No expense has been spared to create something of the highest possible level here. So if you are near Agra, don't miss the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal was built between 1631 and 1648 by Shah Jahan - the fifth ruler of the Mughal Empire. He had the gigantic funerary monument built as a tribute to his second wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth in 1631 while giving birth to their fourteenth child. Several architects and some 20,000 workers - including sculptors, masons, painters and calligraphers - from South and Central Asia worked on the tomb for several years. The mausoleum itself was completed in 1648, the surrounding buildings and gardens in 1653.
The mausoleum contains the remains of Mumtaz Mahal, Jahan's second wife. After his own death in 1666, Shah Jahan came to lie beside her, under the white marble dome on the bank of the Yamuna within the Taj Mahal. You can also admire the inside of the Taj Mahal and you can see both coffins well. However, photography is prohibited, but that is only good so that you have plenty of time to view the special architecture and marble works of art.
Visiting the Taj Mahal:
The Taj Mahal is very easy to visit from Agra. We ourselves entered at the east entrance. Here we bought the ticket, which included entrance to the mausoleum. We received a bottle of water, as well as overshoes which are mandatory for entering the mausoleum.
Entrance fee for Foreigners is: 1250 IDR. (incuding the main mausoleum)
Entrance fee for Indians is: 45 IDR, and 200IDR extra for the main mausoleum.
Entrance fee for SAARC and BIMSTEC residents is: 535 IDR, and 200IDR extra for the main mausoleum.
Entrance for children below Age 15 is free.
Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays for general viewing. Other days it is always open.
Were to stay:
We visited the Taj Mahal from Agra. There is a wide range of hotels and hostels in the immediate vicinity of the Taj Mahal, making it easy to reach on foot. You can also choose to visit the Taj Mahal from Delhi on a day trip, the distance is about 180km, and easily reached by train in about 2 hours.