Taj Mahal India - Once again voted one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj is a must visit for any tourist coming to India.

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Uttar Pradesh Cities
- Agra
- Varanasi
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- Agra Fort
- Fatehpur Sikri
Location - Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Best Time To Visit - October to March

The new poll conducted on 7th July, 07 again proved that Taj Mahal is the best. Ranked among the seven wonders of the world, Taj is considered to be the most beautiful mausoleum on earth.

As quoted by Bill Clinton (former US President) -" There re two kinds of people in the world -Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it and those who have not seen the Taj and love it." Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his queen Arjumand Bano Begum (Mumtaz Mahal). Almost four centuries ago, when this monument was unveiled to the world, many things have been said about it. Writers have written their hearts out on Taj, poets have formed couplets, singers and musicians have composed several songs and directors have made many films on Taj. So, what more can be said on Taj that hasn't already been said.
The fast pace of the clock has also not ceased the praise for the marbled wonder. Shah Jahan himself presenting his opinion on Taj has said in his Badshahnama that the sight of its beauty 'creates sorrowing sighs and makes the sun and moon shed tears from their eyes.'

Architecture
Taj MahalThe British painter Hodges has compared the Taj to a ' perfect pearl on an azure ground - with the effect so dazzling that no other work of art can ever produce.' When Shah Jahan thought of making Taj Mahal, his strong idea was to make it very unique - something that was not made before. His architecture certainly did not let him down in bringing on bricks the whole idea of Taj as thought by the king. The Taj is said to be the finest structures of Mughal era. It combines the element of Persian, Turkish, Indian and Islamic architectural styles. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri was the principle designer of this great monument in white marble.

The main marble tomb stands on a square plinth, with four minarets on each corner of the plinth, giving it a symmetrical design. The minarets have been so designed that in an earthquake, they will fall away from the tomb and not on it. The surface of the tomb has been extensively and intricately adorned with exquisite calligraphs.

The mausoleum is a part of a vast complex comprising of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque (to the left), a guest house (to the right), and several other palatial buildings. The Taj is at the farthest end of this complex, with the river Jamuna behind it. The large garden contains four reflecting pools dividing it at the centre.

Taj In the Making
It took around 17 years in the completion of the Taj Mahal. Around 20,000 workers were employed for the construction work. 40,000 elephants were used to transport the materials for the building of this great epitome of love. The total cost of the Taj Mahal's construction was about 50 million rupees.

Feather to the cap
In the year 1983, Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and UNESCO described it as the 'Jewel of Muslim art in India'. It is one of the most visited monuments in India that attracts almost 3 million visitors every year.

It is not just the physical appearance of Taj that is the main crowd puller. The story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz behind it is also a main draw. May be it is this diversity, in which lies the beauty of Taj - to be different things to different people, yet still be beautiful to all.


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