Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal: A tale of love
11 January 2018 Price range : 10 - 25 USD
Forget Romeo and Juliet and let’s talk about a real love story: the story of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum based in Agra (India), which was built in the ...More
Forget Romeo and Juliet and let’s talk about a real love story: the story of the Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum based in Agra (India), which was built in the 17th century under the orders of Shah Jahan, the 5th emperor of India. In 1607, Shah Jahan, who was 14 at the time, was strolling down the Meena Bazaar when he saw a girl selling silk and glass beads. She was named Arjumand Banu Begum but became known as Mumtaz Mahal and was 15 years old. Indeed, the emperor (prince at the time) fell in love immediately after he saw her and just after their meeting he told his father he wanted to marry her. They finally married in 1612.

Mumtaz Mahal was the love of his life, she accompanied him everywhere, even on military campaigns. They had 14 children but unfortunately, Mumtaz Mahal died when she was giving birth to their 14th child. On her deathbed, Shah Jahan promised her that he would never remarry and that he will build the richest mausoleum over her grave.

It took 22 years and the labour of 22,000 workers to construct the monument.
After Shah Jahan died, his body was placed in a tomb next to his beloved Mumtaz Mahal.

Millions of people visit the Taj Mahal every year. A ticket (for a foreign visitor) costs 1000 rupees (around 13 euros) and here is some information for your visit:

1. The Taj Mahal is in Agra, which is around 200 kilometres from New Dehli. It is not the world's end but you have to get there. You can take a flight, the train or a taxi but I do not recommend taking the bus. It will be long and it is not the "safest" way.

2. Get there early to avoid the crowd. According to the official website of the monument "Taj Mahal is open from sunrise to sunset during normal operating days."

3. Don't be surprised if you see Indian people taking pictures of you or wanting to take pictures with you. It's "common" but if you do not want to see people queuing in front of you to have their picture with you, I recommend politely say "no" from the very beginning.

4. You cannot bring snacks with you. So, eat before visiting. Otherwise, you have lockers outside the gate.

Not to mention that the Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.”
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Alexia Tuma

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