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Home :: India Destination :: Uttar Pradesh :: Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
Introduction
Taj Mahal, AgraThe curiously intricate structure of the Taj Mahal is one of the finest examples of the Mughal art and architecture in India. Located at Agra in Uttar Pradesh, the domed marble mausoleum is emblematic of true love. Apart from making the wild passion of emperor Shah Jahan evident in its every corner, the edifice also talks about the refined aesthetic sense of the king. The whole love story would start becoming obvious as soon as you start loading yourself with hordes of interesting Taj legends.

History
The history of the Taj is no less fascinating than the structure is itself. The whole Mughal empire sank into a state of depression and remorse with the death of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The queen was accompanying the king on a military campaign at Burhan, while death lay its icy hands on her, during the birth of their 14th child. She was the first love of the emperor and had been faithful to Shah Jahan all her life. Just before her death, the emperor promised her that he would build such an imposing structure that would immortalize their pure love.

Shah Jahan kept his words and left no stones unturned to finish the construction of the Taj Mahal. The construction began in 1632 with the assimilation of thousands of artisans, craftsmen, calligraphers and labourers. Architects were called in from as far as Persia. Around 20,000 workers travailed for almost 22 years and thus the construction came to an end in 1648 AD.

Architecture
The splendid building of the Taj typifies the Indo-Islamic architecture. The astounding symmetrical features and the brilliant architectural perfection have been drawing the attention of millions for ages, all across the globe. It was Ustad Ahmad Lahouri who led the team of architects, commissioned by Shah Jahan himself. Flanked by four minarets at its four corners, the Taj Mahal occupies a position on a raised platform. The beautiful mausoleum is set in a huge garden measuring 1,900 feet by 1,000 feet. The tomb, however, stands at the northern end of this garden on the riverbank.

It is interesting to note that even after being built so substantially, the overall structure seems to be quite light and delicate. The pietra dura work of the Taj Mahal is a big lure for visitors and explorers from across the world. The Quranic verses inscribed on the facade are truly worth noticing. The excellent calligraphy is attributed to Amanat Khan. The tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal lie in the basement, with the replicas located right above in the main hall. The whole Taj Complex measures 580 m by 300 m whereas the garden itself is 300 m by 300 m.

Nearby Attractions
Fatehpur Sikri, AgraThe city of Agra has a lot for you to see and experience after you are quite fascinated by your trip to the Taj. The Agra Fort is the next big sight that represents the opulence of the Mughal rulers. Other than this, there are Itimad-ud-Daulah's Tomb, Akbar's Mausoleum, Chini Ka Rauza, Ram Bagh, Dayal Bagh etc. You can also choose to make a trip to Fatehpur Sikri, 37 km from Agra, to delve some more into the history of the Mughals.

Reaching There
By air (Kheria Airport), Agra has links with places like Delhi, Khajuraho and Varanasi. The civil airport lies at 7 km from the central city. You can fly from Delhi to Agra in just 40 minutes. The Agra Cantonment Railway Station has regular connecting trains to Delhi. Agra is 204 km from Delhi so you can also avail of luxury buses/ coaches and taxis to reach here by road.



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