Where is the Taj Mahal?
Good question! Many people know about Taj Mahal but few actually know where it is located. The Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra in India's northern state of Uta Pradesh, around 200 kilometers south of the country's capital of New Delhi. The city of Agra is not particularly famous for its beauty but very well known for its many beautiful Mughal-era buildings such as the mentioned Taj Mahal but also its majestic fort - the Agra Fort.
A bit about the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is probably THE most famous construction in India and probably even the entire world. When thinking of India one immediately correlates the building with the country as it's most iconic landmark. It truly is an amazing site but why and by whom was it actually constructed?
The answer lies in the middle of the 17th century during the time of the Mughal Empire which stretched across the entire Indian subcontinent and even Afghanistan. The dynstay was an Indo-Persian culture and you will clearly find these roots across most of the buildings in this part of India, and also in the Taj Mahal. The architecture is inspired by Persian designs and you will find them all across the various buildings.
It is actually a Mausoleum and was built to house the tomb of the Mughal Emperor's (Shah Jahan) favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. She died giving birth to their 14th child. It was basically constructed out of his eternal love for her - a truly tragic love story!
Visiting the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is just one of those sights that you should have seen once in your life. In order to get the best experience it is recommended to visit during the early morning hours to avoid the masses. Set up an early pick up from your hotel and be there just about sunrise time.
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The entrance ticket to the sight is 1.000 Rupees for foreign visitors - which is around 13 Euros. It is opened from sunrise to sunset and is closed on Fridays. Please also beware not to bring any large bags with you and keep the place clean.
So what else is there to see in Agra?
Apart from the town's main attraction there are a few other things to explore. Although not living-up to the beauty of the Taj Mahal we recommend visiting the Agra Fort and the Mehtab Bagh Gardens.
The Agra Fort is another UNESCO World Heritage Site and definitely worth a visit. It was actually the first fort we explored in India and quite an impressive one as well. It was one of the main residences of the Mughal emperors and is actually more of a walled city. It is a palatial, red-sandstoned and marble fortress with various courtyards and impressive constructions.
It is great to explore for an hour or two before heading over to one of the cities next attractions, the Mehtab Bagh Gardens. Actually, the gardens as such are nice but not as impressive by itself. Rather, the gardens are located right across from the river and opposite of the Taj Mahal. You can take great sunrise and sunset pictures from here. Highly recommendable to visit the gardens before your visit to the actual Taj Mahal so that you can create a little built-up before!
During our trip in Agra we had the chance to test our newest travel gadget - Skyroam. It is a mobile WiFi hotspot that lets you be connected prety much every where you are. We came across numerous hostels and hotels that did not have the best and fastest internet and Skyroam allowed us to surf at a decent speed. It served us well during this visit and throughout the other trips we made across India.