Taj Mahal is a tribute to Beauty. It is a monument epitomizing love of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world.
Some Western historians also define it as the monument whose architectural beauty has never been surpassed by many others. The Taj Mahal Agra is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals in India. Taj Mahal is the most important tourist attraction in Agra. Taj Mahal is made up of white marbles. Its astonishing architectural beauty is beyond any description. The Taj Mahal located by the river of Jamuna in Agra, is believed to glow in the light of the full moon. It is on the full moon day that the monument sees accumulation of huge crowd to witness its serene look. On a winter morning showcased in fog, the visitors experience the Taj as if it is suspended in air from across the Jamuna River.
Taj Mahal in Agra stands on top of a red sandstone base on which lies the huge white marble terrace. On the white marbled terrace rests the famous dome bordered by four tapering minarets. Within the dome like structure lies the jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen named Mumtaz. The Taj that is the casket of the emperor was built beside the queen's one as an afterthought. The emperor was once overthrown by his son and imprisoned in the Great Red Fort for eight years but was finally buried in the Taj Mahal.
History of Taj Mahal Agra
History of Taj Mahal is an interesting topic of research and study since long. Many a traveler after visiting Taj Mahal looks for the story behind its construction. Taj Mahal in Agra is a brilliant architectural work of the Mughals which has been acclaimed worldwide as one of the eight wonders of the world. Taj Mahal is described to be a massive historical monument built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memoriam of his beloved queen Mumtaz. Taj Mahal stands erect by the river Jamuna epitomizing intense love and immense passion of a king for his queen.
Emperor Shah Jahan functioned as the ruler since 1628 to 1658 and within his lifetime he built the love tomb, the Taj Mahal for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan got married to beautiful Arjumand Bano Begum in 1612 A.D. He called his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal as he wanted to refer to her as the crown of the Palace as she was so precious to him. This royal couple had 14 children. The queen used to accompany Emperor Shah Jahan everywhere, even on military campaigns and in one such campaign in Burhanpur in central India, Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631 shortly after giving birth to her 14th child.
It was Mumtaz's dying wish to Shah Jahan that he should build a tomb in her memory. She mentioned it specifically that the tomb should be such that world had never seen something of that sort before. Hence the love tomb began to be constructed with the tragic end of Mumtaz Mahal at a premature age. Shah Jahan fulfilled her last wish and created the most beautiful mausoleum in the world. Taj Mahal was completed with a consistent effort of 22 long years. A huge labor force of 20,000 workers worked regularly led by Muhammed Hanif, the head of the masons. The Persian architect Ustad Isa designed the great tomb. The Taj Mahal had cost the Mughal exchequer 32 million rupees.
In later years of his life, Shah Jahan was ousted by his son Aurangzeb. The lonely emperor spent the last years of his life under house arrest in the Agra Fort from where he made an arrangement to spend his time looking at the beautiful tomb he had built for his beloved empress and waited patiently for the day they could be united again. After Shah Jahan's death in 1666 A.D., he too was buried beside his beloved Mumtaz Mahal.
Architecture of Taj Mahal Agra
Architecture of Taj Mahal has been praised by the whole world for its innovative talents. It's been more than 350 years now, but still the glorious tomb has not lost its glory with time. Persian architect Ustad Isa designed the great tomb called Taj Mahal in Agra and received the world acclaim for his ingenuity. The Taj Mahal had cost the Mughal exchequer 32 million rupees and took 22 years to be constructed. It was Mumtaz's, the empresses' dying wish to Shah Jahan that he should build a tomb in her memory. She mentioned it specifically that the tomb should be such that world had never seen something of that sort before. Hence the love tomb began to be constructed with the tragic end of Mumtaz Mahal at a premature age. Shah Jahan fulfilled her last wish and created the most beautiful mausoleum of the world.
Architecturally, Taj Mahal was the greatest of all the architectural works of the Mughals. It is far superior to any of the monuments in India in the pride of its grouping and character. The Taj Mahal Agra has a rare contrast of temperament and order between the central dome and the slender minarets. Taj Mahal shows the perfection done in the pure form of refinement. The painstaking craftsmanship with its intricate details speaks about the splendor and aura of love that is embedded in its every corner. The design of Taj is believed to be more Persian and less Indian. But in the heart of hearts it is completely original and inimitable. That is the reason why no monument of has ever been formed in imitation to the great Taj Mahal.
How to Reach Taj Mahal, Agra
Reaching Taj Mahal is very important in order to witness the exquisite beauty of the eminent Mughal tomb. How to reach Taj Mahal is a very important and the one of most frequently asked questions regarding Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal in Agra is situated at a very convenient place which is easily reachable from all sides by air, rail and road also.
Indian Airlines has flights flying to and fro from Delhi to Agra. Flights connect Delhi to Agra quite easily. Kheria Airport in Agra is about 6 km from the Agra city centre and is easily accessible by taxis and auto-rickshaws at quite a nominal rate.
The city of Agra is well connected by excellent train services to Delhi. Some of the frequently operating trains are as follows:
- The Shatabdi Express
- Taj Express
- Intercity Express
The railways stations near Agra are:
- Agra Cantt Rly Stn
- Raja-ki-Mundi Rly Stn
- Agra Fort Rly Stn
Express bus services (a/c and non-a/c) are available from Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gwalior, and Jhansi which help the tourists to reach Agra.
For those driving to Agra, the distances are from the nearby cities are as follows:
- Mathura (Pilgrimage Destination) - 58 kms.
- Bharatpur (Bird Sanctury) - 60 kms.
- Gwalior (Historical Destination) - 118 kms
- Delhi (Capital City of India) - 203 kms
- Jaipur (Cultural & Historical Destination) - 236 kms.
- Khajuraho (Historical Destination) - 393 kms.
Nearby Tourist Attractions of the Taj Mahal
Nearby Tourist Attractions of the Taj Mahal are of significant importance in the history of Agra and ancient India. Some of the important places of visit near Taj Mahal are as follows:
- Agra Fort: Agra Fort is a famous landmark in Agra. Emperor Akbar began the construction of this massive fort in 1565. The great Agra Fort is made of red sandstone and is situated on the banks of River Yamuna. The fort got completed in 1571. The Agra Fort offers an insight to the magnificence of the Mughals and their architecture. The most noteworthy building inside the Agra Fort is the Jahangiri Mahal or the Jahangir's Palace. Other important parts of the fort are Khas Mahal, Angoori Bagh (Grape garden), Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), Musamman Burj (an octagonal tower), Diwan-I-khas (Hall of Private audience, the grand courtyard of Machchi Bhawan, Diwan-I-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), and the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque).
- Akbar's Tomb: Akbar's Tomb is located in the charming little town of Sikandra. Sikandra lies at a distance of 4 km from Agra. The Akbar's tomb carries the distinguishing flavor of the well-ventilated tiered pavilions of the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar had a great taste in art and architecture. This is evident in the numerous buildings built by him within the precincts of the great Agra Fort. Akbar's Tomb at Sikandra is one of the most beautiful of all Mughal buildings.
- Fatehpur Sikri: Fatehpur Sikri is situated 40 km away from Agra. Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1584. Fatehpur Sikri symbolizes the grandeur of the Mughals. Fatehpur Sikri is a must-see during your visit to Agra. There are a number of buildings within the Fatehpur Sikri complex. Each of the small palaces in Fatehpur Sikri has a specific purpose. Diwan-I-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), Diwan-I-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), Panch Mahal (five-tiered palace), Anup Talao, Jodha Bai's Palace, Mariam's Palace or Sunehra Makan (golden house), Palace of Birbal (one of Akbar's minister notable for his witticisms), Jami Masjid (mosque) and the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti are some of the things to see in Fatehpur Sikri.
- Itmud-Ud-Daulah Tomb: Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb in Agra is an extremely metaphorical construction. It is considered as an impending antecedent of the Taj Mahal as far as elaborate carvings and inlay work are concerned. Itmad-ud-Daulah Tomb is the first tomb in the whole of India built entirely in white marble. The tomb is famous for the glorious pietra dura (stone inlay) decoration The Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah in Agra is a must-visit for tourists.
- Vrindavan: Vrindavan is an exciting escape from the city of the Taj Mahal, Vrindavan lies at a distance of only 67 km from Agra. Vrindavan is situated in Uttar Pradesh and houses about 4,000 temples. It is a sacred destination of the Hindus and honored for of its association with the life of Lord Krishna.