Within few hours ride from New Delhi in India you will reach Agra which is famous for Taj Mahal, one of the 7 wonders of the world. It was completed in 1638. The Taj is constructed in white marble. It took about 20 years to build it and is now known as a monument to love. It is a place you have to visit at least once in your lifetime if you come to India. Taj is the mausoleum of Shah Jahan’s beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
The entrance to Taj Mahal looks like this showing above. It is a very detailed and well made building. The color of red makes it stand out from the white Taj Mahal building.
The Taj Mahal building is very majestic when you come into the courtyard after have passed the main entrance. It is a special feeling when you get to experience and see Taj Mahal for the first time. It is no longer just a picture in a book or on internet, you are actually there to see it with your own eyes. Do not forget to bring a camera to capture the moment forever. The pictures showed are taken back in 2007 in July. I remember it was a very hot day, when you come there you need to have a hat to protect you from the burning sun. When you reach Taj Mahal you have to take off your shoes and it will be burning to walk on the hot ground. Luckily there are some shade when you take the stairs up to the main courtyard where the Taj Mahal is located.
When you walk into the main building it will be dark and there will be 2 thumbs in the center of the room. I remember I was expecting much more when I was there so I got little disappointed. I was expecting to see more of how it looked inside of Taj Mahal, the interior. Because it was dark you missed out on the details on the walls with it’s magnificent detail for mosaic, but the impressive exterior makes up for it.
Unfortunately when I was there they were cleaning the water ponds so there were no water in front of Taj Mahal. It looks kind of empty without the water that reflects the building and would have added more value to it’s beauty.
When you are walking away from Taj Mahal you will be given different options of transportation back to the parking place. There are camel rides and cycle rickshaw or you can just walk all the way back. We took the cycle rickshaw when we were going away from Taj Mahal and I felt sorry for the guy who had to cycle but that is how he makes a living. A good thing with taking a transportation back to the parking area is that you do not have to deal with the different sellers along the street. Because they will be on you like flies trying to sell you some flying helicopters, some other tourist stuff or some memory card for your camera etc. You might also meet a few cows on the street as well.
While you are in Agra you should also visit Agra Fort (Red Fort), which is a monument and a UNESCO heritage site. The Red fort is made out of red sandstone. Emperor Shah Jahan added to the fort from its earlier construction when he was ruling and ended up a prisoner in it. He could see the Taj Mahal from the Agra Fort on a clear day. He is now buried alongside his wife in the Taj Mahal.
I made one of the pictures above black and white and highlighted the details of the building in the original color so that the details will come out more. Even in a simple building like this the details are amazing. They have really worked hard on all buildings to make them special and unique.
When I was at the Agra Fort I was amazed that it also had a lot of great architecture and details in each building. It is a place where you get to say “wow” for the details in the roof and on the pillars.
Entry costs for Taj Mahal is 750 Indian rupees for foreigners and the Agra Fort fee is 300 rupees and 20 rupees for Indians for each monuments.