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A Traveler’s Guide to the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is one of the seven new wonders of the world, and it stands as a monument to love, to history and to the culture of the Indian people.
Each year, over three million people visit the Taj Mahal, highlighting just what an iconic monument it truly is.
If you’ve always been eager to visit the Taj Mahal, but you aren’t quite sure where to begin, these tips can help anyone to plan the perfect trip to India’s most famous UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What is the Taj Mahal?
The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum made from marble that was constructed under the order of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632.
The structure was commissioned to be in honor of the emperor’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth.
The central point of the Taj Mahal is the tomb of Mahal, but there are also outlying structures and perfectly manicured gardens. Together, the result is arguably the most stunning structure in India and a beautiful representation of love and unending devotion.
Part of its appeal is the fact that it looks different depending on the time of day. In the morning, the Taj Mahal is a striking white color, but in the evenings it is almost rose-colored as a result of the setting sun.
Where is the Taj Mahal Located?
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, a city in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. If the main purpose of your trip is to visit the Taj Mahal, you might want to fly directly into the Kheria Airport, which operates domestic flights throughout India five days each week.
If you are planning to see a range of landmarks throughout India, it may be better to fly into Delhi, 150 miles away, and then take the train or a private shuttle to Agra. Those comfortable with driving in India can also rent a car and make the three-hour drive from Delhi to the Taj Mahal.
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How Can Visitors Make the Most of Their Visit?
The Taj Mahal opens at 6 AM each morning and stays open until 6:30 PM, or sunset. There are two types of tickets for sale at the Taj Majal.
The inexpensive tickets are only for Indian nationals, but the 750 rupee tickets for foreigners do mean that you have access to a shorter line, free bottled water and shoe covers for inside the tomb.
Remember that the site is always closed on Fridays to tourists. To make the most of your time in the Taj Mahal, arranging to be a part of a guided tour can be a great choice.
What Else is There to do in Agra?
Agra is best known for the Taj Mahal, but the city boasts a number of additional tourist attractions. Don’t miss the 16th century Agra Fort, stunning botanical gardens called Mehtab Bagh and a beautiful 17th century mosque called Jama Masjid.
A trip to Agra can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the brilliant and beautiful Taj Mahal in person, and a guided tour of India is the perfect way to facilitate just that.
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