You Can’t Visit India without Visiting the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, one of the primary sites and attractions in India, is a superb example of Mughal architectural design – a style that makes use of Indian, Persian, and Turkish detailing. The massive complex was built in the mid-part of the seventeenth century by order of Shah Jahan, who commissioned the building of the impressive mosque to honor the memory of his wife—his third spouse—Mumtaz Mahal.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World and an UNESCO World Heritage Site
Unlike other Indian structures primarily built of sandstone, the Taj Mahal was made of white marble and inlaid stones – a gem and masterpiece that has stood in splendor in the city of Agra for several millennia. Needless to say, a trip to India cannot even be considered without including this UNESCO World Heritage attraction and one of the Seven Wonders of the World site on your itinerary.
When to Visit the Taj Mahal – The Best Times of the Year to Go
The best time to see the structure is from October to February any day of the week except Friday when the site is closed to tourists and visitors and open to worshippers for prayer. The large building is indeed an awesome structure as the Shah Jahan enlisted the aid of around 20,000 laborers along with 1,000 elephants to build the grandiose complex.
The Taj Mahal – A Major Complex
The structure features five main areas – the primary gateway, called the Darwaza; the mosque or the Masjid; the Naggar Khana (which is the rest house); the Rauza (the mausoleum) and the gardens, called the Bageecha. Both the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and the Shah Jahan are found in the Taj Mahal’s mausoleum.
Other Suggested Activities
Besides seeing the Taj Mahal—a must—you might want to consider taking part in one or more of the following activities as well:
- Ride on a camel in the Great Indian Desert or journey by elephant in Jaipur;
- Visit the city of Amritsar in the northwestern part of India to see its Golden Temple; or
- Enjoy the Bagha Beach in Goa – a great place to relax while on a vacation or holiday.
Escape the Heat – Take in a Movie
You may even want to take in a Bollywood movie – a favorite pastime of the locals and a nice way to stay cool on an especially warm and humid day.