Published on February 26th, 2013 | by Andrew Garcia0
7 Natural Wonders Guide: Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is one of the amazing ancient wonders of the world. It is located in India in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The Taj Mahal is one of the world heritage sites of the UNESCO. It is visited by a lot of tourists every year who come to marvel at its beauty and the architectural style that this amazing mausoleum is built with.
History of the Taj Mahal
The construction of the Taj Mahal is believed to have started in the year 1632 and ended in the year 1653. The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan. He was the emperor of Mughal during the most prosperous season of the empire. The concept of this historic mausoleum comes from the love that Shah Jahan had for his third wife after she died. Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631 while giving birth to her 14th child with her husband and it is the grief that Shah Mahal went through that prompted him to build the Taj Mahal and dedicate it to his deceased wife. Famous architects and artisans were hired to work on the construction of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal was constructed using white marble.
The building of the Taj Mahal mausoleum was finished in 1948 and the gardens and decorations surrounding the Taj Mahal were done in five years. The body of Shah Jahan’s third wife was buried in a tomb in the mausoleum. The emperor was also buried by his sons in another tomb near his wife when he died. In the 19th century, British soldiers and Indian rebels were fighting and the Taj Mahal was greatly affected. Valuable parts of the mausoleum were stolen and the once very beautiful mausoleum started falling apart. A British lord thereafter ordered for the mausoleum to be redecorated which was done in British style. The decorations are still there to date.
Interesting facts about the Taj Mahal
- The Taj Mahal was built for 22 years starting on 1632 and ending in 1654.
- There was a workforce of over 22,000 people during the construction of the Taj Mahal mausoleum.
- Islamic, Indian and Persian architecture styles were used during the construction of the Taj Mahal.
- Different types of precious stones and jewels were used to adorn the Taj Mahal.
- The name ‘Taj Mahal’ translates to ‘Crown Palace’ and also ‘Crown of the Palace’.
- Visitors are allowed in to the mausoleum all week except during prayer times on Fridays.
- The Taj Mahal sits on a 30 meter circumference.
- There are studies that have been carried out that indicate that the Taj Mahal might be sinking.
- It is said that the changing colors of the Taj Mahal indicate the different moods that a woman has at different times.
- The Taj Mahal receives around 4 million visitors every year from all over the world.
How to get to the Taj Mahal
If you want to visit the Taj Mahal and you are wondering how to go about it, it is very simple. If you are an international tourist, you can fly to Delhi and then take another flight to the airport in Agra which is where the mausoleum is located. If you are in any other city around India, you can also get to Agra through rail. The city of Agra is well connected to other cities because it is a major tourist center. There are four gates that you can use to get in to the Taj Mahal depending on the direction that you come from. Vehicles are not allowed in to the compound. Tourists have to walk.
What to expect at the Taj Mahal
The cost of getting in to the Taj Mahal for Indian residents is 20 rupees during the day and 500 rupees at night. Foreigners pay 750 rupees for both day and night time. Children, both locals and foreigners who are below the age of 15 years do not pay to enter in to the mausoleum. During the night, visitors are only given 30 minutes in the Taj Mahal. You have to buy your ticket 24 hours before your visit from the offices of the Archeological Survey of India. There are guides that can lead you to the Taj Mahal and there are also apps that you can download on your smart phone to help you get to the Taj Mahal.
There are a lot of things that you should expect from the Taj Mahal when you get there. There are week long festivals that are held near the Taj Mahal in the month of February. The best time to make a visit to the Taj Mahal is starting November to February because this is the time when the weather if friendly. There are good hotels that you can stay in during your visit to the Taj Mahal. There are also shops where you can buy souvenirs to take home with you once the visit is over. The cities surrounding Agra also have a lot of things to see and because of the rail connection; you can get to any city that you want without a lot of hustle.