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Taj Mahal

The white mausoleum for Shah Jahan’s third wife is a timeless, ingenious work of art. Decorative carvings, stone inlays and mosaics inspire awe of Mughal culture. 

On the banks of Agra’s Yamuna River is one of the world’s best-known architectural masterpieces, the Taj Mahal. Conceived by grieving Emperor Shah Jahan for his deceased wife, the marble mausoleum was built over 22 years, involving tens of thousands of stone workers and European inlay experts. Discover its beauty at daybreak as dawn colors light up the white marble.

Enter through red sandstone gates decorated with Quran inscriptions. As you approach, notice the symmetry of the complex, from the structures standing on either side of the mausoleum to the layout of the canals and gardens.

Sitting atop a raised base, the Taj Mahal’s only background is the sky. The huge dome and towering minarets cast a stunning silhouette at dawn. Throughout the day the marble seems to change color with the angle of the sun. Some say the grandiosity of the building was intended to represent the glory of the Mughals.

Look up to notice carved arches with gemstone flowers and calligraphy set into the marble. Once inside, listen for echoes created by the shape of the dome; this ensured prayer would reverberate before fading away. In the octagonal main hall, cenotaphs of the Shah and his wife stand amid mosaics and marble screens with spectacular gemstone inlays. The shah’s tomb is not symmetrical, as his intentions for a mausoleum of his own were thwarted when his son seized power.

Get an in-depth history of this remarkable place, including architectural plans, in the Taj Museum located in the western mosque. Here you’ll find examples of artworks, weapons, literature and craftsmanship from the time of Shah Jahan.

Photography is not allowed inside the mausoleum. It is closed to tourists on Fridays. Electric buses, which help reduce smog levels, take you from the ticket office to the monument. Tickets are reasonably priced and discounted for Indian nationals. Your ticket includes entry to nearby Agra Fort, where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son.

Throw yourself into everything there is to see and do and make your way home with the best souvenir of all — memories of your amazing adventure!

This place has a huge range of things to do. Here are some suggestions to kick start your trip to Taj Mahal:

Have some time on your side? Head to our Taj Mahal things to do page for a full range of options.


Guide to Exploring Taj Mahal


Top Hotel Deals

See all 309 Properties near Taj Mahal
Radisson Hotel Agra Rs1,799
Radisson Hotel Agra

Radisson Hotel Agra

C-1, C-2, Taj Nagari Phase 1, Fatehabad Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Taj Ganj, this luxury hotel is 1.6 mi (2.7 km) from Taj Mahal and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Agra Fort. Kinari Bazar is 4.4 mi (7 km) away.

    Hotel Taj Resorts Rs1,624
    Hotel Taj Resorts

    Hotel Taj Resorts

    #538, Near Shilp Gram, Taj Mahal E Gate, Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Taj Ganj, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mosque and the Jawab and Taj Mahal. Agra Fort and Kinari Bazar are also within 3 miles (5 km).

      Trident, Agra Rs3,000
      Trident, Agra

      Trident, Agra

      Tajnagri Scheme, Fatehabad Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        This family-friendly hotel is located in the city centre, within 3 mi (5 km) of Mosque and the Jawab and Taj Mahal. Agra Fort and Kinari Bazar are also within 6 miles (10 km).

        Hotel Atulyaa Taj Rs1,599
        Hotel Atulyaa Taj

        Hotel Atulyaa Taj

        538, Near Shilp Gram, Taj Mahal (Eastern Gate), Agra, Uttar Pradesh
           
          3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Agra, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Mosque and the Jawab and Taj Mahal. Agra Fort is 2.6 mi (4.2 km) away.

          The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra Rs32,500
          The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

          The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

          Taj East Gate Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            This family-friendly Agra hotel is located in the historical district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Mosque and the Jawab and Taj Mahal. Agra Fort and Kinari Bazar are also within 3 miles (5 km).

            Hotel Sidhartha Rs810
            Hotel Sidhartha

            Hotel Sidhartha

            2/95 west gate taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
               
              2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in the historical district, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Taj Mahal, and within 3 mi (5 km) of Agra Fort and Jama Masjid. Kinari Bazar and Sadar Bazar are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Hotel Raj Bed & Breakfast Rs647
              Hotel Raj Bed & Breakfast

              Hotel Raj Bed & Breakfast

              2/26 Taj Mahal, South Gate, Taj Ganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
                 
                2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Taj Ganj, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Mosque and the Jawab and Taj Mahal. Agra Fort and Kinari Bazar are also within 3 miles (5 km).

                Hotel Sheela
                Hotel Sheela

                Hotel Sheela

                Dashehara Ghat Road, Agra, UP
                   
                  2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Taj Ganj, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Mosque and the Jawab and Taj Mahal. Agra Fort and Kinari Bazar are also within 3 miles (5 km).