According to estatelearning, the Taj Mahal is the most famous building in India and is considered to be one of the most beautiful structures on earth.
In 1983 it was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
The name Taj Mahal means something like crown palace in its translation, even if the Taj is actually a mausoleum that the Mughal Mughal Shah Jahan built in memory of his main wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. Construction began in 1631, the year she died.
The exceptional building was finally completed in 1648. Shah Jahan was later ousted by his son and spent the rest of his life as a prisoner in the Agra Fort (see below). In 1666 he was buried next to his wife in the Taj Mahal.
The architecture of the Taj Mahal, which is made entirely of marble, is unique. 28 different types of precious and semi-precious stones alone were incorporated into the white marble; the excellent pietra dura (stone deposits) are breathtaking. Because of its perfect harmony and proportions, it is considered one of the most beautiful and important examples of the Mughal style.
To the west of the Taj Mahal is a mosque (in the direction of Mecca), and symmetrically to this, in the same floor plan, is a guest house in the east. The monument was placed in a charbagh, a garden of four, which is strongly reminiscent of the Persian style.
In front of the building there is an approx. 18 hectare garden with a small lake in which the building is reflected.
Apart from its tourist importance, it is also a popular destination for newlyweds from India, who want to make mutual love lasting through their visit. The Taj Mahal is an attraction at any time of the day or night, because with the different light irradiation of the day, its atmosphere and appearance changes.
Agra Fort (Red Fort)
Located on the west bank of the Yamuna, the Agra Fort, built by Emperor Akbar, dominates the center of the city.
It was embellished with palaces and gardens by Jehangir.
The crescent-shaped fort is 20 meters high and within the 2.4 km long outer wall there are several buildings that make the fort a small town within the city.
The fort can only be entered through the Amar Singh gate ; the public entrance is therefore reduced to the southern part of the fort because almost all the buildings of tourist interest are here.
The Diwan-i-Aam (area for the public audience) and the Diwan-i-Khas (area for the private audience) were built by Shah Jahan. Near the Diwan-i-Khas is an octagonal tower known as the Musamman Burj ; this is where Shah Jahan spent his last seven years in captivity.
Other places of interest within the fort include the Khas Mahal, Shees Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) and the Anguri Bagh, the grape garden.
In the north of the Agra Fort on the opposite bank of the Yamuna is the Itmad-ud-Daulah, the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, Jehangir’s Wazir. This building is also known as the “Baby-Taj” because it was the first Mughal structure made entirely of marble.
In the center of a peaceful garden in Sikandra, 4 km northwest of Agra and 10 km northwest of the Agra Fort, lies the tomb of Akbar, which was made of sandstone and marble. This mausoleum reflects Akbar’s philosophy and worldly outlook by using Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Christian motifs and style elements.
Mosques and temples
Mosque at the Taj Mahal
Next to the world famous Taj Mahal is the mosque shown. The mosque is in the direction of Mecca, in the west of the Taj Mahal.
This mosque was built in 1648 by Jehanara Begum, Shah Jahan’s judge, in memory of Sheikh Salim Chisthi and his grandson Islam Khan. The mosque has wonderful similarities with Iranian architecture. It has a rectangular, open forecourt and no minarets.
Address: Mantola Road
In Dayal Bagh, the headquarters of the Radhaswami sect, there is a wonderful white marble temple that has been restored for about 100 years. In the temple you can take a look at the work of the Pietra Dura marble inlays.
Rivers, lakes and parks
The Yamuna has a total length of 1,376 km and is the largest tributary of the Ganges, into which it flows at Allahabad. The river has its source at the Yamunotri Shrine in the Himalayas and flows through the Indian states of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh along New Delhi, Mathura and Agra.
Its main tributaries are the Tons, Chambal, Betwa, Singh and Ken.
Cruises on the Yamuna are offered by some private boat owners. Such rides are popular as they offer exceptional views of the Taj Mahal.
This lake is located approximately 14 miles from Agra within the Surdas Reserved Forest. A large number of different fish and water birds can be observed in the lake. The quiet surroundings offer an ideal place to relax.
Park at the Taj Mahal In
front of the Taj Mahal there is an approximately 18 hectare park with a small lake in which you can admire a mirror image of the building.
Three kilometers upriver from Itmad-ud-daulah is Ram Bagh, one of the earliest Mughal gardens in the country. It was created by the Mughal Emperor Babur. It is believed that he was buried here for a period of time before he was transferred to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Taj Nature Walk
This stone footpath leads through a mini wilderness and provides an unforgettable nature experience against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal. All kinds of birds and butterflies can be seen. There are seats and stops for a picnic as well as a garden restaurant.
Address: Taj East Gate Road