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Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal (ताज महल) meaning Crown Palace is one of the seven man-made world wonders located in the northern situated city Agra, India about 125 miles from Delhi. It was built on the banks of the holy Yamuna River by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj as it’s locally referred to is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style combining Persian, Indian and Islamic architecture elements. In the year 1983 UNESCO World Heritage Site named the Taj Mahal “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.” On average the Taj Mahal has 5500 visitors daily, totaling over 2 million each year.

As of April 2010 the entrance fee of the Taj Mahal is 750 Rs. ($16.75) for foreigners, as well 25 Rs. ($0.55) extra for a handy-cam while Indian tourists pay 20 Rs. ($0.45) only. The entrance fee comes with a tourist map of Agra, a shoe cover and free bottle of water. Although video footage is not allowed behind the red-lines, just about 25 ft. after you paid the 25 Rs. ($0.55) surcharge regular camera’s are allowed anywhere outside giving you a unique opportunity taking beautiful shots of the picturesque Taj Mahal (No camera’s allowed inside the tomb area) In case you forget your camera, there’s professional photographers taking pictures for 50 Rs. ($1.10) per photo.

The most convenient time to visit the Taj Mahal is at sunrise in order to see the shiny morning sun glow over the beautiful decorated mausoleum. It’s advisable to arrive around 5:00 AM to skip the long lines and be one of the first capturing the happening, therefore bring a fully charged camera battery as most likely you can’t stop taking pictures! As it gets later, 5:30 AM – 6:00 AM the group tours as well individual tourists start arriving which leaves people stranded in long lines, the heavy security checks cause even more delay. No one is allowed taking pens, cigarettes, knives or matches inside, each tourist is required walking through a metal detector and will be padded down.

The Taj complex has a proper setup and is divided into five elements, the east, west and south gateways for entrance, the Great Gate officially Darwaza-i-Rauza (Gateway of the tomb) facing the Taj Mahal from the north entrance which gives access to a peaceful yet spacious garden filled with a fountain, birds, monkeys and sqwirls, a mosque on the left side along with a royal guesthouse on the right side, and of course in the center of attention the Taj Mahal.

Without a doubt the Taj Mahal is the number one sightseeing in entire India, it’s gigantic, beautiful and breathtaking at the same time. Over 2 million people that visit the Taj Mahal each year know why!

The Taj Mahal is not lit at night.
In the order to prevent foreign attackers from bombing it.
Machine factories may not operate in Agra.
To prevent the Taj Mahal being polluted.
The Taj Mahal is made of marvel and stone.

Do not bring your handy-cam (25 Rs. extra) ($0.55).
You will be only required to film about 25 ft. once you paid the surcharge.
Ignore touts offering a fast-ticket (100 Rs. extra) ($2.20).
Ticket window lines move fast and efficient, you will have to wait for security regardless.
Ignore the “official” tour guides (100 Rs. extra) ($2.20).
It seems their knowledge is directly copied from Wikipedia.
Keep your Taj Mahal ticket for 50 Rs. ($1.10) discount at Agra Fort.
The south gate is closed until 8:30 AM due to parking problems in the early mornings.

Opening Hours Mon – Sun (Friday closed) (Sunrise till Sunset)

Taj Mahal
Purani Mandi
Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India