VISIT TO TAJ MAHAL
Morning greet you at your originated point then depart towards Agra to visit Taj Mahal. A casual look at the city of Agra is not much different from any other Indian cities but Agra is a wonderful getaway to explore the best of Mughal era. The City of Agra is full of culture, art, philosophy and memorable Mughal architecture. The combined view of reddish sky & the white marble mausoleum makes your day. You have ample time to spend at this architectural of the world.
Agra is one of the well-known tourist spot famous for its monuments, which includes Taj Mahal, Agra fort and many more. Taj Mahal is well-known as a symbol of eternal love and it is one of the world heritage sites. "Only let this one teardrop, this Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on cheek of time, forever and ever".
These are the wonderful words of great Indian Poet and Noble laureate in literature - Rabindra Nath Tagore. Hard to find any better words that perfectly describe the beauty of this timeless monument. First look at this magnificent white marble monument through the massive main gate, you fall in love with it and you realize the truth behind the great poet's words. Visiting Taj Mahal is an unforgettable experience; the premises start nearly one kilometer before the building. The picturesque garden has a look of original Moghul garden with fountains, colors and music floating in air.
UNESCO hails the Taj Mahal, a 17th-century immense mausoleum of white marble, as the "jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". It is the finest example of Mughal architecture that combines Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, it has a fascinating story and rich history behind its construction and its journey through time. It took sustained efforts from 22,000 workers through 22 long years (1631-1653A.D) to complete the construction of the Taj complex, spreading over 32 acres of Land.
Emperor Shah Jahan was the 5th Mughal emperor of India. Shah Jahan and Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal) met in 1607, when he was 15, and he fell in love, although due to some reasons they weren't married until 1612 when she became his second wife. She was his companion on all his journeys and military expeditions. She died in 17 june 1631 at the age of 40 years when giving birth to their 14th child Gauhara Begum in Burhanpur. Overpowered by grief, Shah Jahan resolved to immortalize the memory of his beloved wife by building the finest sepulcher ever built. As a physical symbol of the devotion of man to a woman, the Taj Mahal is unsurpassed. Tradition has it that when a couple goes there, the woman should ask her partner: "if I were to die, do you love me so much that you would built me a memorial like this?".
"Some legends say that after the Taj was built, the Mughal Emperor cut off the hands of all the men who built it so that the same masterpiece could not be made again. And some legend also says that the emperor planned to build a duplicate Taj in black marble on the opposite side of the river as his own tomb". "As destiny would have it, he was overthrown by his own son Aurangzeb and spent his last days locked up in Agra Fort, just down the river from Taj."He died in 1666 in Agra at the age of 72 years.
The Taj Mahal is in fact an architectural complex and not just the one building. It stands in a formally laid-out walled garden entered through a pavilion and comprises of five main elements: The Mausoleum (which is what most people know as the Taj Mahal) with four minarets, a Mosque, a Rest House or the Response placed opposite to give it symmetry, the main Gateway and the garden. All were built as integral part of a single unit, carefully planned to harmonies, as a law of Islam decrees that once a tomb is completed nothing can be added or be taken away. Amanat Khan Shirazi was the calligrapher of Taj Mahal, his name occurs at the end of an inscription on one of the gates of the Taj Mahal. Poet Ghyasuddin had designed the verses on the tombstone, while Ismail Khan Afridi of Turkey was the dome maker.
Muhammad Hanif was the superintendent of Masons. The designer of Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport it to the site. The central dome is 187 feet high at the centre. Red sandstone was brought from Fatehpur Sikri, Jasper from Punjab, Jade and Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli and Sapphire from Sri Lanka, Coal and Cornelian from Arabia and diamonds from Panna. In all 28 kind of rare, semi precious and precious stones were used for inlay work in the Taj Mahal. The chief building material, the white marble was brought from the quarries of Makrana, in distt. Nagaur, Rajasthan. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later.
Delhi (200 Kms / 2hrs 40 mins one way)
Jaipur (240 Kms / 3hrs 40 mins one way)
Gurgaon / Manesar (225Kms / 3hrs 10mins one way)
1.October to March (Winters) are cool and temperature can go as low as 4'C and accompanied by thick fogs (December - January) prohibiting travels due to poor visibility. Winter season is an ideal all tourist activities.
2. April & September are hot. The climate is hot and dry but a visit to the beautiful Taj Mahal is always possible.
3. May to August (summers) the climate is hot in this period. The days are hot & nights are warms the rain showers are expected, with heavy rains in July & August.
To truly appreciate the Taj Mahal and encapsulate its various moods, we suggest that you spend at least one full day in Agra and view this dream in marble at different times of the day - for the Taj transforms its character with the changing light.
Later drop at your orginated point
Bon Voyage !