Taj Mahal is a symbol of love and no one is unknown with this fact. A giant yet surprisingly beautiful piece of architecture was built in 1648 AD and situated in the heart of India, Agra, this place will literally drop your jaw for a while in your first visit.
The building is a tomb of Queen Mumtaz Begum and King Shahjahan. It is said that out of his 16 wives, Shahjahan loved Mumtaz the most and out of that he dedicated Taj Mahal to her after her death as a symbol of his love. Her grave (replica) is placed in the center of the entire mausoleum in white marble with cravings of Quran on it. Even the whole building is decorated with amazing designs of quotes from the holy book of Quran and certain carvings reflecting the Mughal Era.
After narrow and complex lanes of Agra, you enter the compound via east or the west gate. The south gate is meant for exits only. And after all the security check you enter the main area via the Great gate. The first glimpse you get just after that is a thing to keep in your heart forever. We knew it would be hot and sunny and crowded as well as the day grow up and that’s why we decided to visited the place as early as possible, which is half an hour before the sunrise and the Taj didn’t fail us with its charm. In front of you, a long passage of Mughal Garden arrows towards the white marble palace with its reflection the in clear waters between the trees. You walk for approx. 100 m to reach to the main platform from where you can climb upstairs. There are two other buildings along side of Taj Mahal, The Masjid (The Mosque) and the Mehman Khana (Guest House). Both the places serve a breathtaking view of the Taj at sunrise and the sunset respectively.
The main building entrance will directly navigate to the replica of the graves of the Queen and the King as the original graves are kept just beneath them for security reasons. It is said the Shahjahan was captured and kept in Red Fort of Agra (just behind Taj Mahal). He was kept looking at Taj Mahal with a small window from there for over 8 years before he died. As his last wish he said he wanted to be with his wife in his grave. And that’s why you see another grave (bigger one and not in the center) which belongs to him. Such was the story of love between them which is still sung out of the stones there.
Taj Mahal is one of the 7 wonders of the world for some reasons which you’ll witness once you are there. So pack your bags and hit the place.
Tips: Taj Mahal opens half an hour before sunrise, closes half an hour after the sunset and remains closed throughout the day on Fridays. There are two tickets available, the ordinary tickets for everything but the main building and the other one for everything including main building. Also, if you are visiting the Taj somewhere around the full moon day, do witness the white beauty turning in blue in the moon light in the night times. For this you have to buy the tickets in a day advance in person where you can book a half an hour slot for the visit. No cameras are allowed for this special visit. Wear full body cloths as a gesture of respect.