The Taj Mahal is perhaps the most famous tourist destination in all of India. If you are lucky enough to be travelling to India at any time in your life, you must put this destination on the top of your itinerary. Indeed, this sacred monument, which is located on the banks of the Yamunda River in the city of Agra, is one of the most treasured architectural wonders of the world. Nowadays, there are many India tours and travel packages that offer a stop at the Taj Mahal for tourists to marvel at. In this article we will explore the history of this unique site, as well as offer some general tips and guidelines for getting the most out of your visit to this world-famous monument.
A Little History
Construction of this ivory mausoleum began in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, for his recently deceased favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. After about 22 years of work by some 20,000 laborers, the Taj Mahal was completed. This building stands as a testament to the aesthetic grace of Islamic art and culture. The purity of this building continues to touch many people from all walks of life, inspiring faith in the strength of human love, both in this life and the next.
How to Get to Agra
Most travel agencies recommend visitors plan their trip to the Taj Mahal between November and February. In this time period you will experience a milder winter climate and avoid the humid summers and monsoon season. Depending on what travel packages you are looking into, there are many ways agencies can get you to Agra. Wherever you are staying, Agra is connected by train on the Agra Cantt. If you are looking into a longer travel package in India, you will probably be staying at New Delhi. New Delhi is the closest big city to Agra. The Yamuna Expressway can get you to Agra from New Delhi in less than three hours. A round-trip ticket here will set you back around 520 Rupees (about $8). Again, depending on where you are staying and what is a part of your Tour East Holidays travel package will determine the best way to get to Agra. It might be helpful to look into a package based in New Delhi to start off your search.
Opening Hours and Tickets for the Taj Mahal
The only day the Taj Mahal is closed is on Friday. Other than that, this mausoleum is open from 6 a.m. to 7p.m. for tourists. You can purchase tickets in advance online if you desire. Generally, you can expect to spend around 750 Rupees for a general day-ticket (which is $11.20). If you are traveling with children under 15 they are eligible for free admission. It is recommended that you get to the Taj Mahal as early as possible to see the sunrise and avoid the mid-day crowds.
Other Spots of Interest
Of course, if you don’t feel like battling the crowds to get inside this monument, there are ways to take in the Taj Mahal from other parts of the city. For example, you can look into visiting the Mehtab Bagh, which is a beautiful Mughal garden directly opposite the Taj Mahal. You pay a small fee to enter this place, and you can stay all day long taking in stunning views of the Taj Mahal.