Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal Trips

Probably the most extravagant monument ever built for love, the Taj Mahal has become the emblem of India. Known as the jewel in India's crown, its exquisite white marble dome and beguiling symmetry make it one of the world’s best-loved architectural treasures. 

Built by the Emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1648 as a mausoleum for his second wife Mumtaz Mahal, it is the finest existing example of Mughal architecture. It combines intricate Persian, Turkish, Indian and Islamic styles to wonderful effect and seems to appear as immaculate today as when it was first constructed. Its timeless beauty is perhaps best captured in the words of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore who described it as "a teardrop on the cheek of time".

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Taj Mahal Adventure Holidays

Taj Mahal tours: Sunrise or sunset?

Get to the Taj early – sunrise is undoubtedly the best time to avoid the huge crowds and the heat. As the sun rises and the early morning mists clear, the delicately carved white marble walls are slowly unveiled to dazzling effect. 

On the other hand… sunset affords the most impressive views of the Taj. As the sun goes down, the white marble first takes on a rich golden sheen, which slowly gives way to rose-pink hues, then deep red and finally blue with the changing light. Mesmerising.

And while in the city of Agra – your base for Taj Mahal tours – visit the Red Fort, a key strategic stronghold of the Mughal Empire. A citadel of over 500 buildings, once you are inside the fortified red walls a palatial city spreads out before you. Fairytale palaces, elegant courtyards and exquisitely crafted mosques create the city within a city.

Meanwhile, just outside Agra is Fatehpur Sikri, another Mughal palace-city. The Emperor Akbar moved his capital there in 1571, with the Red Fort just down the road for protection if it were ever needed. Occupied for just 14 years, its palaces and courtyards feel as though they were left only yesterday.

As far as grand designs go, they don’t come any grander than in Agra.

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