Announced worldwide as the winner of 7 Wonders of the World in 2007 after seven years long web based voting poll and phone call, the majestic ivory-white monument Taj Mahal is continuously making every Indian proud even today with its rich heritage, remarkable history, unique architecture and being the most preferred travel destinations for Indian as well as foreign tourists. Its glory is such paramount that this famous monument has got its place as one of the chapters to be compulsorily taught in academic subjects among school kids.
Let’s explore this symbolic monument as we are heading towards Valentine’s week in the upcoming days:
1. Symbolic History: The world famous ivory-white TajMahal was built by Mughul Emperor Shah Jahan with the help of Architect of Mughal times Ustad Ahmad Lahauri & Isa to house the tomb of the emperor’s most beloved wife Taj Mahal. It is said Taj Mahal had died the very next day after delivering the 14th child with took years for Shahjahan to accept. He henceforth decided to turn the mausoleum of his wife into a magnificent monument which no one had believed that it would continue making proud to Indians even in modern times. It’s construction was started in 1632 AD and got completed in 1653 AD to include a mosque, guest house, wide spread gardens, and tomb of Shah Jahan itself.
2. Renowned Architecture (Making of Taj Mahal): The monument of Taj Mahal for the first time in Indian history used ivory-white marble for its construction with every possible detailed carving any fine architect could possibly think of. The well read historian of modern times have acknowledged why Taj Mahal is the perfect site to visit if scholars want to research on all comprehensive designs created during Mughal architecture on archeological sites. Taj Mahal’s famous central tomb has iwan, an arch shaped doorway with a large dome at the top with finial to add to its beauty. The unique chamfered corners with four minarets built for offering prayers make the Tomb looks symmetrical. The onion shaped dome with chattris and lotus design, decorative coating for ceilings (stucco), calligraphy with the passage of Quran, thuluth script on exterior walls and cenotaphs makes the architecture detailed and significant. The incised paintings on the stone surface, herringbone inlays, contrast tiles & flat tiling on walls, dado sculpted bas relief depictions of geometric flowers, fruits, and vines with pietra dura inlays, use of semi precious stones, and intricate screen or jail makes the interior decoration of Taj Mahal highly decorative, detailed and extremely refined.
Taj Mahal also includes 300-metre spread heavenly garden called Charbagh or Mughal Garden inspired by Persian Garden with a unique flowerbed, famous roses, daffodils, fruit tree fountains, artificial reflecting pool, Moonlight garden with water fetching from River Yamuna. The outer-lying embodies crenelated red stone walls with a columned arcade design, mihrab facing towards holy Mecca.
3. Rich Heritage: Taj Mahal has been declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites as per Ancient Monument and Archeological Sites and remains Act 1958 and Rules 1959 Ancient Monument and Archeological Sites and Remains Amendment and Validation to ensure the protection of property. The supreme court of India banned the use of coal /coke in industries located in Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) in December 1996 and suggested to use of natural gas. It is known that TTZ has 40 monuments including three world heritage sites –Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri, and Agra Fort. The federal government provides funds for the preservation & maintenance of the site under superintending Archeologist of the Agra Circle.
4. Best Shopping Places to visit: Taj Mahal and its surrounding areas offer an amazing shopping experience. If you visit this place do not forget to buy world famous Pethas (sweets), handicrafts, artifacts, leather stuff, semiprecious stones & jewelry, carpets. This place is also one of the largest markets for textiles and embroidery. Do visit the following famous market if you Agra next time: Kinari Bazaar, Shah Market, Shoe Market, Subhash Bazaar, Sadar Bazaar, Raja ki Mandi, Shahganj Bazaar, Subhash Emporium,& TDI Mall for shopping unique and reasonable gifts for yourself and for loved ones.
5. Traditional Yummy Food to Eat: If you are in Agra to visit Taj Mahal, try savoring awesome Bedai & Jalebi, Paratha, Bhalla, creamy dry fruit used gravy, Dalmoth & Petha available in a variety of flavors. Street food of Agra is world famous and everyone’s delight.
6. How to reach by Train: Indian Railways are your most affordable option if you are planning to visit Agra next time. The train stops directly at Agra Cantt Railways Station that is 5 km from Taj Mahal.
- If you are currently at New Delhi and planning to visit the Taj Mahal, you may book your ticket in Taj Express with Train number 12279/80. The train departs every weekday from New Delhi Railway station at 6:45 a.m. in the morning and reaches Agra Cantt Railways Station at 9:32 a.m. the same morning.
- If you are currently at Mumbai and planning to visit Taj Mahal, you may book your ticket in LTT-HW AC Superfast with Train number 12171/72. The train departs from Mumbai Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Railway Station at 7:55 a.m. in the morning every Monday & Thursday and arrives at Agra Cantt Railways Station at 3:50 p.m. the same afternoon.
- If you are currently in Hyderbad and planning to visit Taj Mahal, you may book your ticket in Rajdhani with Train number 22691. The train departs from Secunderabad Jn at 7:50 a.m. every weekday and arrives at Agra Cantt at 3:28 p.m. the next day afternoon.
- If you are currently in Jodhpur and planning to visit Taj Mahal, you may book your ticket in Jodhpur Howrah Superfast Express with Train number 12308. The train departs from at 8:00 p.m. from Jodhpur Jn and arrives at 5:55 a.m. the next morning.
Also, we recommend you to visit Agra Fort & Fatehpur Sikri nearby as it also tops the list of most visited sites and declared as one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and holds rich heritage & fine architect of Mughal times.
If you are planning to visit Agra next time, try ordering Food in Train online from RailRecipe downloading its App (from here), or ordering from POS www.railrecipe.com and calling our customer care Representative at 8448440386.
Try visiting Agra this Valentine’s week!