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The spellbinding Taj Mahal is one of the world’s most recognisable buildings and a must see on any holiday to India. The building’s beautiful white domes, her ornately carved walls, and the jewel encrusted interiors all exude romance. Could the Taj Mahal be loves greatest monument?
The story behind the Taj Mahal is one of deep love. However, it is unfortunately also one of tragedy. Shah Jahan was the emperor of the Mughal Empire which ruled over much of present day India at the time. His wife Mumtaz Mahal was pregnant with the shah’s 14th baby. But during what should have been a joyous occasion, Mumtaz tragically died of complications during child birth. The shah was so devastated at his beloved wife’s death, he took to building her a tomb so great that it was one of the tallest buildings in the world, required a workforce of over 20,000 to build, and was made of materials imported from all around the known world. It is of course, the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is in the historic city of Agra, about three hours south of Delhi. It can be reached by road or rail, with the latter definitely being the most comfortable. The Taj Mahal itself is about 55m2 and rises 73 metres high. It’s anchored by four minaret style pillars, each of which are 40 metres tall. However the greater complex is massive. What we didn’t tell you in the love story is that the shah had many wives, and they’re all buried nearby. Their tombs are each impressive, however it’s glaringly clear who his favourite was! The rest of the complex consists of beautifully manicured gardens worthy of any British palace.
Unfortunately it’s not possible to visit the Taj Mahal on a day trip from Delhi, it’s just too much for one day, so you will need at least one night in Agra. A guide is also strongly recommended as there are stories around everything in the complex (some of which may vary from guide to guide!). Be sure to discuss the options with your favourite House of Travel agent to make the most efficient plan when visiting this wonder of the world.