Taj Mahal Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Taj Mahal, where poet's words find an ultimate direction to
articulate their emotion. It is a place where the artistry embraces
the eternity and love attains divine salvation. The marble edifice
situated on the bank of river Yamuna has suffered many ravages of time
and with each sunrise and sunset, it has become immortal with its
grandeur of heritage and legend. Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor
Shah Jahan to enshrine the remains of his beloved empress Begum Mumtaz
Mahal which manifested the immortal love between the two.
A Monument that Redefines Artistry
Designed by the Persian architect Ustad Isa, Taj Mahal is renowned for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty. Resting on 313 square feet marble platform, Taj Mahal is guarded by four marble minarets that are embellished with intricate marble inlay work. The main dome is offset by four smaller domes; in fact, from whichever angle you look at it, the Taj presents a graceful configuration of lines, curves, colour and perspective. The graves of Emperor and Empress lie in the basement where no one is allowed to enter and a false grave structure is made for visitors which is enclosed by a screen of exquisitely wrought white marble, fine as lace. The jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the king and queen have the verses of the holy Quran inscribed on them. Intricately proportioned filigree work and scooping tiny excavations in the marble wall are nothing but masterpiece in itself. Touch the small holes in the wall which used to contain precious stones in the Mughal era and now holding the reminiscence of the past. Moreover, Pietra dura the superb craftsmanship of inlaying semi-precious stones into the beautiful patterns are something that give Taj Mahal a unique look.
Taj Fascinates All Day Long
The Taj, which is nothing but a tender elegy in marble, blossoms with its marvelous beauty uniquely at different hours of the day. As the sun spreads its vermilion in the East, Taj blooms like a fine pink rose and its marble architecture seem to spread fragrance, but it takes no time to change its view to a sparkling diamond as the sun reaches the mid sky. In the evening, when the sun completes its journey for the day, and moon comes to heal the world, Taj becomes a mystery in itself. You may even forget to breathe or blink wondering it to be real or some illusion.
Myriad Colours of Taj Mahotsav
A non-stop ten days long carnival, Taj Mahotsav, held at Shilpgram near Taj Mahal in the month of February re-invents the great Mughal heritage of the city in large manner. An extravagant procession of beautifully caparisoned elephants and camels along with drum beaters, dancers and folk artists through the quiet roads of Agra takes it to re-live the royal memory of the Mughals. The festival brings a golden opportunity for the legendary artisans and master craftsman in order to display their exquisite work of art. With folk music , shayari (poetry recitation) and classical dance performance, Taj Mahotsav celebrates finest crafts and cultural nuances of India with Taj Mahal creating the majestic backdrop. Get engulfed in the multiple hues of Indian culture and craft and plan your Taj Mahal trip at the time of Taj Festival as nothing can be more exciting.
Taj Mahal is open for public viewing from sunrise to 19 hours. The best time to make your plan in the year is from November to February. Being the one of the most renowned world heritage sites, you have to go through security checking and we suggest you co-operate with the guards. Any kind of food or baggage is not allowed inside and if you have any, you have deposit it to the counter. On payment of some charges you can use your camera inside the premises. Video cameras are restricted to the first platform inside the Taj entrance, 600 m away from the monument itself. Photography at the graves inside is forbidden. While entering in the mausoleum you will have to take off your shoes; you might also hire shoes that are put on rent or just go ahead bare footed.
Agra is well connected to Delhi by Indian Airlines and other private airways operating flights on regular basis. One can also opt for train journey by the Shatabdi Express and the Taj Express running daily from Delhi Nizamuddin Station. Agra is only 204 km from Delhi and the excellent national highway caters smooth and luxurious journey by air-conditioned and deluxe coaches to Agra.
You must park at a short distance from the Taj premises and you may take the battery operated buses or horse carts to the entrance. Alternatively, you can walk the 2 km route also.
Where to Stay
Agra has a wide range of hotels and rest houses. The 5 star deluxe hotels provide luxurious accommodation in the city . UPSTDC`s tourist complex, Taj Khema near the Taj Mahal offers accommodation in tents and deluxe rooms. There is a UPSTDC Tourist Bungalow as well. Hotels and restaurants offer both Indian, Continental and Chinese cuisine with Mughlai cuisine, which is Agra's specialty.
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