The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, is known globally as a fine example of Mughal architecture and craftsmanship. The white marble mausoleum was built between 1631 and 1648 by around 20,000 workers when Mughal emperor Shah Jahan decided to build a 'monument of love' to immortalize his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The monument is India's glory and is open on all days except Fridays (due to prayers). One can find huge local and foreign crowds here at all times except early mornings or late evenings. An entry fee is also levied, which immensely helps in the preservation and restoration of this grand monument. Reaching the Taj Mahal is quite easy; there are hotels - low to high budget, travel agencies, and even travel guides - fluent in different languages to help you make your trip enjoyable.
One glance at the Taj Mahal is sufficient to make you marvel at the effort, science, technique, planning, and creativity that went behind in creating this structure. In other words, it is the most gorgeous historical structure I have seen in my life to date. With its construction dating back to several centuries ago, the monument is truly a masterpiece standing tall in all its glory and splendour. Today due to pollution, the marble has faded a bit, but that does not stop travellers from admiring this amazing monument of love.
Inside the monument, one can find beautiful hand made floral and leaf carvings along with Arabic calligraphy with Koranic verses on walls. Each carving looks like an exact replica of each other and to achieve this kind of precision, in those times, is nothing less than brilliant artistry. Latticework adorns widows and coloured precious gemstones are laid in marble - all adding to the beauty of the monument.
Moreover, the Taj Mahal is a sight to behold during night tours - which are allowed only for five days in a month, including the full moon night, two nights before and two after. These night tours are highly recommended as you get to see the monument right under the glistening light of the moon. Night tours usually take place in eight batches (of 50 people each), where each batch is allotted 30 minutes to view the monument. These eight batches are not allowed to enter the monument during the night but can admire it from a distance. But what a sight the Taj Mahal is at night - simply out of dreams. Once in a lifetime at least, you must try this, it's totally worth the patience and time.
Hence, if you plan to visit the Taj Mahal at night, choose the later batches during night tours so you can enjoy a good view of the moon as well. During night tours, security checks are very stringent, so be prepared. Luggage, bags, and mobile phones are not allowed at night. Though you can carry your cameras for still photography and no videos.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to India and experience India's glory Taj Mahal at close quarters.
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