The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (ruled from 1628 to 1658) to tomb his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. The mausoleum is the centerpiece of the 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in a formal garden surrounded by an unobstructed wall on three sides.
Construction of the mausoleum was essentially completed in 1643 but work continued for 10 years in other phases of the project. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been fully completed in 1653 at an estimated cost of around 32 million rupees, which in 2015 would be around 52.8 billion rupees (US $ 827 million). The construction project employed around 20,000 artisans under the guidance of the board of architects led by the court architect for the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahori.
The Taj Mahal was named in 1983 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. It is considered by many to be the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7-8 million visitors annually. In 2007, it was declared the winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.
How to reach:
It takes 12 minutes to travel from Taj Mahal to Kheria Airport. Approximate driving distance between Taj Mahal and Kheria Airport is 10 km.
There is a good network of trains connecting Agra to the rest of the country. Apart from the main railway station of Agra Cantonment, Raja-ki-Mandi and Agra Fort are the other two stations. The main trains connecting Agra with Delhi are Palace on Wheels, Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Taj Express.
There are regular bus services from Agra to many important cities. There are many buses plying from Iadgah and ISBT bus stand to Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Fatehpur-Sikri, etc. If you are coming from Delhi to Agra, you can hire a taxi.