Who hasn't dreamed of seeing the Taj Mahal. Having done a little bit of Indian history in my early years at school, from the moment I learned about the Taj Mahal, I knew I had to see this place with my own eyes. A building that that is said to be the world's greatest monument to love. Commissioned by Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor to house the tomb of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth.
This is of course the tomb that nearly bankrupted the emperor in his no expense bared mentally in throwing money at the construction of the tomb and many other projects. Shah Jahan is the same emperor that famously commissioned the Peacock Throne, crafted from over a tonne of gold and encrusted in diamonds, emeralds, pearls and rubies. When you visit the Taj Mahal you will notice how the intricate detail within the marble are all made of semi-precious stones. The design, exquiste and unique in its blend of Indian and Persian architectural style.
The level of detail and thought that went into the construction is simply remarkable. The construction began soon after the death of Mumtaz Mahal's death and too 22 years to complete, with over 20, 000, labourers, stone cutters and skilled artisans. Marble that travelled all the way from Rajasthan, decorated in Arabic calligraphy in this beautiful master piece. The entrance to the Taj Mahal also give clues to how it too to construct the tomb. It's really as beautiful as many have described it to be. Even in the blastering heat that visited on, didn't dampen our spirits.
I mentioned in my previous post about how Humayun's Tomb inspired the Taj Mahal. If are planning on setting your own eyes on the Taj Mahal, I would strongly recommend a visit to New Delhi to check out the very tomb that in my opinion gave birth to the Taj Mahal, and what for me is a better representation of monument of love.
Getting there: We drove from New Delhi which was about 4 hours to get to Agra, but you can also take a flight or train depending on your budget. Also note that its closed on Fridays.
Self Guide or Guided: We chose to have a guide with us as I wanted someone with a little more knowledge of the history. Our guide for the day also took as to Agra Fort, which I will share pictures of soon. Your guide will also show you cool spots to take pictures as well as leave you to enjoy the surroundings in peace.
Tickets: There are ticket offices a few meters away from the Taj(about 10 minutes walk from the ticket office). There are local ticket counters and tourists counters too. Ticketts for tourist cost 750 rupees and about 20 rupees for locals.
The entrance to the Taj Mahal. There are 2 row of the 11 white bulbs, altogether 22. Symbolising how the number of years it took to build the Taj Mahal.
Wearing: H&M dress(Old limited addition collection), Belt: Hermes, Bag: Prada, Sandals: DSW(US), Hat(Bought from a small boutique on a trip in Namibia). Similar items below.
Arabic Calligraphy with semi-precious stone inlay curved into the Marble.
The Tomb inside the Taj Mahal, all with semi-precious stones curved into the marble through out. Emeralds, Carnelian and through out the rest of the building stones like Lapis Lazuli, onyx, coral, cat's eye an many more used in the Taj Mahal inlay.
The Mosque across from the Taj Mahal.
View of the entrance to Taj Mahal grounds from across the mezzanine of Taj Mahal.