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Taj Mahal

Photos and description

One of the most wonderful creations of human hands, a place which attracts every year millions of people from around the world - majestic and beautiful Taj Mahal is considered as a true symbol of India.

The history of the construction

The Taj Mahal is a stunning white building, which was built as a tomb for the third and favorite wife of the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, on the banks of river Yamuna in Agra. Despite the numerous harem, the Emperor loved it Mumtaz Mahal. She bore him thirteen children, and died in 1631 at the birth of the fourteenth. The ruler was very sad after the death of his beloved wife, so he ordered to gather the most skilled masters of that time to create a mausoleum, which would become the symbol of his boundless love for Mumtaz. Construction was started in 1632 and continued for more than 20 years: the main set was finished by 1648, and secondary buildings and garden were finished five years later. A kind of "prototypes" of this grandiose tomb of steel Guri-Amir mausoleum of Tamerlane, the founder of the dynasty of Mughal rulers located in Samarkand, the JAMA Masjid mosque in Delhi, and Humayun's tomb - one of the Mughal rulers.

An architectural marvel

The Taj Mahal is made in the traditional Persian style and is a complex of luxurious and majestic buildings, built of white marble. The main place is occupied by the mausoleum itself, located in the center of the site. It has the shape of a cube with cut corners and crowned by a huge dome. The building stands on the square "base" on the four corners of which are high minarets. Inside the mausoleum has a large number of rooms and halls, decorated with amazing mosaics, painted with intricate patterns and ornate designs. In one of these rooms is the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. And next to it the tomb and the Shah Jahan, who wished after death to be buried beside his beloved. Initially the Governor was going to build an exact replica of the tomb on the other side of the Yamuna for himself, only in black marble, but he has failed to bring his idea to life, so he wanted to be buried in the Taj Mahal next to his wife. But it's worth noting that both the tomb empty, and the present burial place is in the underground crypt.

Initially, the mausoleum was decorated with a huge number of precious and semiprecious stones, pearls and its main door was made of pure silver. But, unfortunately, before our time all these treasures almost did not survive, "settling" in the pockets are not very honest "tourists".

On three sides of the Taj Mahal surrounded by a beautiful Park, the gates which also represent an architectural masterpiece. Through the Park to the main entrance road leads along the wide canal. And on both sides of the mausoleum are two mosques.

In Persian language "the Taj Mahal" means "crown of palaces". And he truly is "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the world's recognized masterpieces of world heritage."

The Taj Mahal was listed as a world Heritage site by UNESCO in 1983.

It is also worth noting that officially, tourists are allowed to photograph the Taj Mahal from one side only - opposite the main entrance.


  • Location: Agra, 200 km from Delhi.
  • How to get there: by train or Express train/railway station "Agra Cantt."
  • Official website: www.tajmahal.gov.in
  • Opening hours: daily from 6.00 to 19.00, except on Fridays. Two days before and two days after the full moon, the mausoleum is open in the evening hours - from 20.30 to midnight.
  • Tickets: foreigners - 750 rupees, locals is 20 rupees, children under 15 years stay free of charge. Tickets to visit at night time are purchased for the day.