Taj Means Crown and Mahal means palace. So Taj Mahal means Crown of Palace. It ‘s one in all the foremost beautiful monument ever created. It’s located in Agra, India. It’s made from white marble. Its construction began in 1632 and resulted in 1648. But there is something’s sort of a mosque, outer courtyard etc which were added later and it’s completed in 1653. It had been built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
At that time more than 20,000 workers, craftsmen, artists were employed to build Taj Mahal on the banks of Yamuna River. It is a fusion of Islamic, Persian and Indian design.
It is covering an area of 42 acres. Height of Taj Mahal is 73 meters. There are four minarets around the Taj Mahal and each minaret height is 43 meters. Height of tomb is 58 meters. Mosque and guest house are made up of Redstone. Space occupied by the garden in Taj Mahal is 300 meters.
It is also called as Darwaza-i-Rouza. This is the Main Gateway of Taj Mahal. Its height is 28 meters and was constructed in 1648. It was mapped by the Ustad Ahmad Lahori who was the architect of Taj mahal. It is made up of red sandstone. The doorway has been given the shape of a curve. There is 11 umbrella-shaped furnace which is made up of marbles and it is on the top of the gateway.
The Mosque is placed on the west side of Taj Mahal towards Mecca. It is made up of red sandstone. It is believed that it was constructed by Isa Mohammad. On the top there are 3 domes, one is at the centre and one each on left and right. They are indistinguishable except for the size, the central one is larger than other domes. There are arrows in each dome which are pointing towards the sky.
There are 3 entrances. The centre one is decorated with black marble which is engraved on white marble. The other two entrances are similar like the main entrance and just above theses two entrances, they have fictitious windows. The mosque’s walls are decorated with marbles.
From inside, it is properly furnished and there are 596 prayer mats on the floor. The verses of the Holy Quran and name of Allah are engraved on the walls. There is Mihrab in the Mosque which indicates the direction of Mecca. There is a Minbar platform from where a priest delivers the speech and it is on the right side of Mihrab. In front of the mosque, there is a pool where the Muslims perform ablution before prayers.
After entering through the main gate we see the garden. Taj Mahal is bounded by gardens. In the Holy Quran greenery symbolizes heaven. The garden-style is Persian based. The concept of paradise garden was brought by Babur. It is also known as Charbagh because it consists of 4 elements-water, milk, honey and wine and according to Islamic ideology, heaven consists of these 4 elements. There are beautiful flowers, birds and fruits trees in the garden. It covers an area of 300 by 300 meters.
The garden gets water supply from Yamuna River. It is divided into 4 parts and each part has 16 flower beds. These flower beds had been planted with 400 plants.
When you visit the garden and move towards the Taj Mahal you can see the tomb. There are staircases through which people enter the tomb. The four minarets each having height of 43 meters are made in such a way that they will not fall on tomb during the natural calamity.
There are four rooms in the central chamber and the graves of other family members are just below the chamber.
It is the heart and central focus of the Taj Mahal. It contains two extremely beautiful masterpieces and representing the denizen of the tomb Shahjahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. But in reality, the real bodies of Shahjahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal are buried in the lower chamber.
It is cube-shaped structure and slanted corners and there is a large dome on the top of it. The complete architecture has a curved-shaped doorway called iwan.
The marble dome conquering the structure. It is 35 meters high. The length of the base is also the same as its height. There is a design of lotus at the top of the dome. Smaller domes are located at the corners of the main dome creating a marvellous effect.
Visiting Hours of Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is open on all days from Sunrise to Sunset every day except Friday.
On Friday only Muslims are allowed to attend prayers in the afternoon.
It is also opened at night from 8.30 pm to 12.30 am on full moon night and before and after the full moon day.
Tickets are available at the western gate, eastern gate and southern gate of Taj Mahal.
There are separate queues for domestic visitors and foreigner visitors.
Price for Domestic tourist if Rs.50
Price for Foreign Tourist is Rs. 1100
Price for SAARC and BIMSTEC countries is Rs.540
Also, read my Agra Travel Blog in which I shared all my travel experiences and places.