Taj Mahal: the most beautiful tomb in the world
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And after another 18 hours of train (5 of delay) arrival at the Agra Fort station where one of the 7 wonders of the modern world is located: the TAJ MAHAL.
The Taj Mahal is located in Northern India (State of Uttar Pradesh) and is a mausoleum built in 1632 by Emperor Moghul Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife Arjumand Banu Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal.
It is a general belief that Taj Mahal (whose literal meaning is "Palace of the Crown" or "Crown of the Palace") is a shortened version of the name of Mumtaz.
It is thought that the complex was finished in 1653 at a cost of 32 million rupees, which in 2015 would have been about 52.8 billion rupees (827 million US dollars).
It has always been considered one of the most remarkable beauties of Muslim architecture in India and is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites since December 9, 1983. It was also included in 2007 among the new 7 wonders of the world.
My plan was to visit the very famous Taj Mahal as soon as we got there and then set off again in the evening in the direction of Rishikesh. But given the various hours of delay, I decided to stay overnight at the "Panda Backpackers" hostel. I pay 249 rupees for a 6-bed dorm with air conditioning.
The next morning, along with 2 other boys, I wake up at 5 and walk in the direction of the Taj Mahal. It is only a 20 min walk to reach the ticket office.
Price for foreigners: 1,100 rupees about 13 €.
Price for residents: 40 rupees or 50 cents.
They give us a small bottle of water and shoe covers to enter the main room with the tomb.
The mausoleum is the only building entirely covered in white marble; the others have only some decorative elements of this material, but they are almost completely covered with local red sandstone rock.
Flanked by the main mausoleum, in fact, there are the mosque and the jawab which are located respectively to the west and east of the tomb, are built in red sandstone, in contrasting colour with the white marble of the mausoleum.
We spent about 2 hours inside. We entered at 6 in the morning when there are not too many tourists, a great condition to take some nice pictures and admire this giant silently.
The Taj Mahal was so far on my wish list and I finally did it! I'm really excited about visiting a monument of such beauty and elegance. On the other hand, you cannot leave India without visiting the Taj Mahal!