India Travel Travelogues

Wah Taj!

Deepti Beke
Written by Deepti Beke
Airbnb APAC
All of us have travel goals. Mine is to see all the wonders of the world. These marvels are created with so much love and so much of efforts that even after so many years they still continue to awe people.
When we talk about wonders of the world, the first name that comes to my mind is obviously our very own Taj Mahal. This symbol of love has kept attracting millions of people every year! Let’s take a tour of this beauty in our today’s blog.

The Story:

​Taj Mahal is the symbol of the eternal love story of Shahajahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz Mahal was so much in love with Shahajahan that she would accompany him on every expedition. On one such expedition, she died while giving birth to her 14th child. While on the death bed, she asked Shahajahan to create a monument in memory of their love which people would remember for ages. Shahajahan brought the dead body of this wife to Agra and five months later, started the construction of Taj Mahal. He brought the best stones from Asia and employed 20000 workers for 17 years to create this marvel!

How to reach:

​Taj Mahal is located in Agra which is around 125 kms from Gwalior, 200 kms from Delhi and 225 kms from Jaipur. People usually fly to Delhi and then travel to Agra. There are frequent buses from Delhi to Agra and with the construction of Delhi-Agra national highway it is just the matter of 3-4 hours now to reach Agra. However, the best way to get to Agra is the Shatabdi express from Delhi to Agra which reaches Agra in 2 hrs.

Best Time to visit:

​Winters are the best time to visit Taj Mahal. Summers are very hot in UP and hence must be avoided.

Timings:

​Taj Mahal is open from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset for all days except Friday. On Friday it opens only in the afternoon for the people who want to offer prayers in the mosque. Night viewing is also available on full moon night and 2 nights prior to it.

Tickets:

​Best way to book tickets is to book them online. There are limited entries which are offered every day and hence prior booking should be done.
​The site is https://www.tajmahal.gov.in/ticketing.html
The site also mentions the cost of the ticket and the ticket counters in case you do not wish to book the tickets online.

What to see:

​People who visit Taj Mahal do not stop talking about the beauty of the place for days together. What interests me is that they also talk about the symmetry of the monument. The four minaretsare exactly symmetrical. People are awestruck by how symmetrical the two buildings are – an assembly hall and a mosque. The intricate carvings in Islamic and Persian style, the Quran carved on the walls, the white marble and semi-precious stones out of which Taj Mahal is created leaves you awestruck. The beauty of Taj Mahal is that it appears different during different times of the day. You will see a pinkish hue in the morning, a white marvel at night. A tip here is not to miss the sight of Taj Mahal at both sunrise as well as sunset. You can also go to the nearby Mehtab baugto get the best view at Sunset!
The Persian gardens which are outside Taj are equally beautiful and well-manicured. The calm and serene Yamuna River adds to the beauty of the place and the reflection of Taj Mahal into the river is a sight to behold!
You would feel calm at this place as you transform yourself from the city to the mausoleum. The tomb is made up marble with a beautiful lotus design.
The Princess Diana Bench, as it is called, is the place where people love to sit and get the photos clicked!

Guides:

​There are guides available outside Taj Mahal. They can give you more detailed information. If you want to do the tour at your own pace, there are audio guides available in the stores nearby and an audio guide available on the IOS.

Security measures:

​The security check at Taj Mahal is just like the security check at the airport. Batteries, sharp items, food and drinks (except water) are not allowed to be carried. It is advisable to travel light as you need to also walk for around 3 hours to see the place completely.

Pollution Threat:

​As we are aware, Taj Mahal was losing its sheen because of the pollution. Mud packs are now applied to it to recover from the effects of pollution. Also petrol and Diesel vehicles are not allowed in the vicinity of 500 mtrs around the Taj Mahal. Hence you would have to board a battery operated vehicle from the parking lot to get to Taj Mahal. With all these efforts taken, Taj Mahal is appearing whiter than before.

​A beautiful monument of a love story that people will remember forever. A monument created in loving memory of beloved wife by her husband! Would you like to visit the monument? Plan soon as the best time to visit Taj Mahal has started with the onset of winter!
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About the author

Deepti Beke

Deepti Beke

A software engineer by profession and a traveller by heart,that is what describes me the best.If given a chance I would gladly like to live out of suitcase. I plan trips whenever I am happy, whenever I am sad, whenever I am stressed..in short everytime :-)
​Reading and writing are my other passions and a perfect day for me would be a day spent with a coffee and a book!
My favourite book is The Secret and I am a strong believer in law of attraction and it has always worked for me!

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