Taj Mahal & Agra, India

Taj Mahal Reflecting Pool Agra India
Taj Mahal with Reflecting Pool - Agra, India
Taj Mahal & Agra, India (2/16-17/2013)

The Taj Mahal is truly a wonder of the world – one the most incredibly beautiful sites in the world we have visited!

Indian Lady Taj Mahal Agra India
Indian Lady at Taj Mahal - Agra, India
All too often you set your expectations too high when you hear so many wonderful things about a place. Because the Taj Majal in India is one of the most famous buildings in the world, our expectations were running extremely high. The Taj Majal absolutely lived up to everything said about it. The Taj Mahal is stunningly Beautiful with a capital B.

The Taj Mahal is certainly worthy of being selected one of New Seven Wonders of the World. More on that later, but first to better understand the Taj Mahal, it is helpful to understand what motivated it.

Wayne Patricia Dunlap Love Story Taj Mahal India
Wayne & Pat's Love Story 
at the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a love story – image that. Shah Jahan, emperor during India’s Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child – what can we say, they were in love. It can be observed from Agra Fort from where former Emperor gazed at it for the last eight years of his life, a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. Shah Jahān's tomb was erected by his son Aurangzeb next to his wife.

View Taj Mahal Red Fort India
View of Taj Mahal from Red Fort
So, the Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra – then the capital of the Mughal empire. It is decorated with semiprecious stones and fine sculptures of verses and floral motifs. Many regard the Taj Mahal as the finest example of Mughal architecture - a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic, Ottoman Turkish, and Indian architectural styles.

Taj Mahal Agra India
Taj Mahal - Agra, India
The Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was completed around 1653 after 20 years of labor, employing about 20,000 laborers, masons, artisans, and craftsmen. The interiors are decorated with fine inlay work, incorporating semi-precious stones. Stories have it that some artists went blind working on the very intricate stone inlays. The Taj Mahal is renown for its symmetry. It is exactly as wide as it is high.

Indian School Children Taj Mahal India
Indian School Children Visiting the Taj Mahal
Every day about 20,000 to 35,000 people visit the Taj Mahal (except Fridays when it is closed). Most tourists visit during the cooler months of October, November, and February. Interestedly, the Taj Mahal receives large numbers of Indian visitors with many people visiting many times as children and after romantic events in their lives (e.g. marriage).

Agra India Rain
Agra, India, After Rain
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, the former capital of Hindustan (now known as India). Agra is the 19th most populous city in India with a population of 1,686,976. It achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1658.
Agra Fort Red Fort India
Agra Fort (Red Fort) 
- Agra, India

Agra Fort India
Inside Agra Fort 
- Agra, India
Agra is a major tourist destination because of its many splendid buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra Fort (also known as the Red Fort) was built in 1565.

Elegant Jaypee Palace Hotel Agra India
Elegant Jaypee Palace Hotel - Agra, India
Travel tips... India has three main seasons - hot and humid Summer (March to May), Monsoon (June to September), and Winter (milder summer). The best time to visit is during the winter between November and February – February has the best weather. Locals in India can manage to speak in broken English and those working in hotels, most restaurants, businesses, and belonging to middle and upper class can speak fluent English.

Indian Food India
Indian Food
Staying healthy in India... Most visitors choose bottled water that can be purchased reasonable cheaply – many hotels supply bottled water. When buying water from street vendors, make sure the lid is sealed and not refilled with tap water. Make sure you rinse your toothbrush with bottled water and keep your mouth closed when showering. It is also wise to be careful what you eat. Outside of major tourist hotels and restaurants, particularly risky things to stay away from are raw leafy vegetables and egg-based dressings like mayonnaise, and minced meat. To be safe, you should stick to boiled, baked, fried, or peeled goods.

Please see our other 5 travel blog posts about incredible India:

Goa Beaches, India

Cremations on Ganges River - Varanasi, India

Mumbai, India

New Delhi, India (Capital)

Jaipur (The Pink City), India 

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2 comments:

  1. Nice informative post i am visiting India next month so i am very glad i just found your blog and specially this post on time actually i totally enjoy you post the love story and the tips so thank a lot for so nice post.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I read your full blog and it was very informative, and helped me a lot. I always look for blog like this on the internet with which I can enhance my skills,tajmahal tour packages

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