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Taj Mahal, Agra , India

Information on Taj Mahal - India, providing on-line reservation /booking for visit to Taj Mahal on discounted rates, air/rail ticketing, car/ taxi / coach hire for Taj Mahal Tour, package tour to Taj Mahal and Hotel Booking in Agra. Click Here to Visit the world heritage site Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal, Agra , India TAJ MAHAL FACTS & FIGURES

Built in : 1632-53
Built by : Shahjahan
Location : Agra (Uttar Pradesh)

Taj Mahal Timings : The Taj remains open from 6 am-7 pm everyday except Fridays. Closed on Fridays for the public except for those who go for afternoon prayers between 1200 hrs 1400 hrs at the mosque in the Taj Mahal complex.

Exterior of Taj Mahal

The Taj itself stands in a raised platform. The four minarets at each corner of the plinth provide a perfect balance to the tomb. The minarets measure 41.6 m high and each has a deliberate slant outwards so that in an unlikely event of an earthquake, they would not fall on the tomb but away from it. The bulbous dome of the Taj Mahal rests on an extraordinarily high drum and rises to a total height of 44.41 mt.

Interior of the Taj

The interior of the mausoleum comprises a lofty central chamber, a crypt immediately below this and four octagonal corner rooms originally intended to house the graves of other royal family members.

Taj  cenotaphs and tombsIn the centre are the cenotaphs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's cenotaph is to the left and is higher than that of his beloved which rests immediately below the dome. The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal stands in the centre of the marble screen, it has inscribed on it in persian with texts from the Koran. The cenotaph has the single epitaph inscribed on it - "Marqad Munavvar Arjumand Ban Begum Mukhatib bah Mumtaz Mahal Tanifiyat ferr sanh 1040 Hijri" (Here lies Arjumand Bano Begum called Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1040 AH or 1630 AD).

The cenotaph of Shah Jahan is inscribed in Persian - "Marqad Mutahar Aali Hazrat Firdaus Ashiyani Sahib-qiran Saani Saani Shah Jahan Badshah taab surah sanh 1076 Hijri" (The sacred sepulchre of his most exalted Majesty, dweller of Paradise, the second lord of constellations, the king Shah Jahan, may his mausoleum ever flourish, 1076 AH (1666 AD). Above the tombs is a Cairene lamp, the flame of which is supposed to never burn out. Marble screen of trelliswork surrounds the graves. Both tombs are exquisitely inlaid with semi precious stones. The acoustics of the building are superb with the domed ceiling being designed to echo chants from Koran and musician's melodies. It is suggested that one walk around the outside of the tomb, before retrieving your shoes, to appreciate it from all sides.

Mosque Taj MahalThe Mosque and the Jawab

To the left of the Taj is a mosque made of red sandstone. It is common in Islam to build a mosque next to a tomb, as it sanctifies the area and provides for a place for worship. This mosque is still used for Friday prayers.

An identical mosque is also built to the right of the Taj and is known as the Jawab (answer). Prayers are not held here as it faces west i.e. away from Mecca, the holy city of the Muslims. It was built to maintain symmetry.

Taj Mahotsava

Held every year between February and March it is a ten day feast of classical dances, folk art and light music. This grand carnival takes place in Shilpgram a place located very close to the Taj Mahal. Mughal Durbar one of the enchanting attractions of the bygone era is reconstructed every year with elephants, camels, drum beaters and all other splendor of that era.

How to Reach Taj Mahal

Agra is on the popular tourist route and is well connected by air, road and railways with most parts of India, normal flight reaches Agra from New Delhi in about 30 minutes. The road from Delhi to Agra is one of the most well constructed highways of India. A journey by road can take about 4-5 hours. As Agra lies on the main railway line a number of trains pass through the city. The fastest train to/from Delhi is the Shatabdi Express, while you can also take the Taj Express, from Delhi both of which provide a daily service from Delhi to Agra and back the same night.

• Air: Agra airport is 7 km from the city center and 3 km from Idgah bus stand. It only takes 40 minutes from Delhi to Agra.

Rail:Agra is well connected by railroad. The main railway station is the Agra Cantonment station. Agra is well connected by rail to Delhi, Varanasi and cities of Rajasthan.

Road: Idgah bus stand is the main bus stand of Agra, from where one can catch buses for Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Fatehpur-Sikri, etc.

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