The Taj Mahal was built as the mausoleum of the mughal empress mumtaz Mahal and is generally accepted to be one of the most spectacular bulidings in the world.
The Taj Mahal is located on the south-west bank of the Yamuna River with in the city of Agra in the Indian state o f Uttar Pradesh, about 200 Kilometres South of New Delhi . Uttar Pradesh is home to more than 120 million people.
Agra was the capital of the Mughals, a muslim clan who ruled northern Indian between the 16th and 19th centuries.
Mughal Emperor shan Jehan ordered consruction of the Taj Mahal in 1631 to honour his beloved second wife Arjumand Banu (later known as Mumtaz Mahal - the name Taj Mahal is a diminutive of this name), who died at the age of 39 while giving birth to their 14th child.
The greatest artisans and craftsmen of Asia and persia were comissioned, aided by more than 20,000 labourers, and the Taj Mahal was built in 22 years. with the famous central dome of the Taj Mahal ( built from white marble) lies the jewel inlaid cenotaph of the late queen.
The name Taj Mahal means "crown of palaces". one of the Taj Mahal's most recognizable feature is a large white dome that is often called an 'onion dome' due to its shape. It has a height of around 35 metres (115 feet) and is surrounded by 4 smaller domes.
The stunning filigreed tiles work is breathtaking at close quarters, as is the stonework and powerful beaty of the interior
Taj Mahal travel information :
About 3 million foreign tourists and 15 million Indian travel to the Taj Mahal each year.
Standard opening times for the Taj Mahal are from sunrise to 7.30pm, and the complex is closed on Fridays.
Since late 2004, the Taj Mahal has been poen for night viewings restricted to 400 people on full-moon nights (and for two nights either side) between 8.30pm and midnight.