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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 around Taj Mahal


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Taj Mahal

See all 339 Properties near Taj Mahal
ITC Mughal, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Agra ¥9,616
ITC Mughal, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Agra

ITC Mughal, A Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Agra

Taj Ganj Uttar Pradesh, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
     
    5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    This family-friendly Agra resort is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Sadar Bazar. Jama Masjid and Kinari Bazar are also within 3 mi (5 km).

    Hotel Taj Resorts ¥4,484
    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 mi (5 km).

      Courtyard by Marriott Agra ¥5,256
      Courtyard by Marriott Agra

      Courtyard by Marriott Agra

      Taj Nagri, Phase II, Fatehbad Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
         
        5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Taj Ganj, this luxury hotel is 2.3 mi (3.8 km) from Taj Mahal and within 6 mi (10 km) of Agra Fort and Sadar Bazar. Jama Masjid and St. John's College are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra ¥70,086
        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 mi (5 km).

          Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Agra ¥8,099
          Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Agra

          Taj Hotel & Convention Centre, Agra

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

            This family-friendly Agra hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Sadar Bazar and Jama Masjid are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Hotel Sidhartha ¥1,480
            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 ¥988
              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 mi (5 km).

                Hotel Sheela ¥3,665
                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 mi (5 km).