India - Agra - Taj Mahal - Places To Visit - Travel Advice

Things To Do In Agra - Taj Mahal - Travel Advice

Agra - It was founded in the early sixteenth century by the Sultan of Delhi and became capital of the Mongol Empire when Akbar conquered the king a few years later. For a century was the most important city of the empire and had a boom that led to the construction of the new wonders of the world which receives millions of tourists every year, the Taj Mahal. Today it is a crowded industrial city next to the Yamuna River that suffers a high level of contamination. It retains a strong, beautiful palace, mausoleums and tombs of the Mongol era lie in the shadow of the great monument.

Taj Mahal History - There are many stories that deal in relation to the construction of this unique monument to love them all, only one is completely true. Shah Jahan, devastated after the loss of Mumtaz Mahal, his wife and muse, who died tragically in childbirth in 1631 , vowed to build a monument in his memory. To do this, he brought more than 20,000 workers from all corners of India, Central Asia and even Europe, which for twenty years worked tirelessly in their uprising.

Once finished, the king began the construction of another black marble mausoleum identical to itself, on the other side of the river, but his son Aurangzeb, who was not willing to continue witnessing his father as his inheritance in melted similar fanfare, sent him imprison (as I said earlier in the visit to Red Fort), and when Shah Jahan died, his cenotaph installed inside the Taj, next to his wife, thereby breaking the perfect symmetry of all the funerary complex.

From here, the legends are many and varied. some say that the day that Mumtaz Mahal died, the king's hair turned gray overnight, others say that, as Shah Jahan believed that no person would be able to design a monument to the height of her grief, sent for a Persian architect, and he promised to kill her, and finally there are those who say that once the monument, cut off the hands of those who had worked in it, to ensure that such work could never be repeated.

It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 and from 7 of 7 of 2007 is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, was restored in the early twentieth century after nearly 400 years is preserved as the first day.

Taj Mahal - Once through this second door, the Taj appears almost at once. Awesome, glorious, massive and at the same time it is real. The white marble platform on which it stands, and the reflection of the structure on the pond water that precedes it, causing the illusion that the building floating in the air.

The complex consists of an entrance courtyard, gardens and the mausoleum. To enter the room there is 3 doors to the large central courtyard where you installed the old bazaars. From here we cross the Darwaza that leads to a beautiful garden square divided into four equal parts by water channels. The mausoleum is located strategically in the background on a marble platform, being so near to the river is just behind the horizon and this greatly highlights its beauty. It is surrounded by four minarets 40 m high and inside the cenotaphs is symbolic of the king and his wife. Real tombs are in an underground chamber that you cannot visit. On both sides of the mausoleum are two small mosques.

Of the 3 entrances most used is the south, this is the one that has fewer people and the west is usually jammed with organized groups. The lockers are somewhat removed from the enclosure to prevent the pollution from cars deteriorate the monument. At the entrance there is a strict security check and not allowed food, snuff, matches, mobile and tripods can be left security at no cost.

Friday is closed not allowed to visit and entrance fee is about 750INR

Mehtab Bagh - It is a park located in the rear of the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River, there sunset offers stunning views of the monument reflected in the river. Not really sure so it's best to leave before nightfall. Entrance fee is about 100INR

Taj Mahal Hotel -The first morning spent exploring the surroundings of my hotel, located in Taj Ganj, a suburb close to the walls of the Taj Mahal full of souvenir shops, restaurants more or less cheap and hotels for low budgets. Again, find accommodation in a private home was impossible for me, although I came with the naive idea that, being a place so frequented by tourists, no lack of open minds fond of couch surfing.

The first view suggests that it is a somewhat crude building, however, to observe carefully, you soon perceive how the detail with which the stone has been worked increases progressively from the lower floors, red sandstone, to the superior, a beautiful and brilliant white marble. The facade looks like an attempt to combine harmoniously the Arabic styles, Hindu and Buddhist, which is explained by the vision and philosophy of the monarch, who during his reign he tried to establish religious tolerance, and even create a new religion that would unite them all.

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