The Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal art and one of the most famous buildings in the world. Yet there have been few serious studies of it and no full analysis of its architecture and meaning. Ebba Koch, an important scholar, has been permitted to take measurements of the complex and has been working on the palaces and gardens of Shah Jahan for thirty years and on the Taj Mahal itself—the tomb of the emperor's wife, Mumtaz Mahal—for a decade.
The tomb is the representation of the house of the queen in Paradise, and its setting was based on the palace gardens of the great nobles that lined both sides of the river at Agra India. You will explore the entire complex of the Taj Mahal with an explanation of each building and an account of the mausoleum's urban setting, its design and construction, its symbolic meaning, and its history up to the present day.
Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim, Emperor Shah Jahan (died 1666 C.E.) in the memory of his dear wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal(real name was Arjumand Banu) at Agra, India. It is an "elegy in marble" or some say an expression of a "dream." Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. In the tradition of the Mughals, important ladies of the royal family were given another name at their marriage or at some other significant event in their lives, and that new name was commonly used by the public. Shah Jahan's real name was Shahab-ud-din, and he was known as Prince Khurram before ascending to the throne in 1628.
Taj Mahal was constructed over a period of twenty-two years, employing twenty thousand workers. It was completed in 1648 C.E. at a cost of 32 Million Rupees. The construction documents show that its master architect was Ustad ‘Isa, the renowned Islamic architect of his time. The documents contain names of those employed and the inventory of construction materials and their origin. Expert craftsmen from Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore, and Multan were employed. In addition, many renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara worked on many specialized tasks.
The Taj stands on a raised, square platform (186 x 186 feet) with its four corners truncated, forming an unequal octagon. The architectural design uses the interlocking arabesque concept, in which each element stands on its own and perfectly integrates with the main structure. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and a symmetry of architectural elements.
Its central dome is fifty-eight feet in diameter and rises to a height of 213 feet. It is flanked by four subsidiary domed chambers. The four graceful, slender minarets are 162.5 feet each. The entire mausoleum (inside as well as outside) is decorated with inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy using precious gems such as agate and jasper. The main archways, chiseled with passages from the Holy Qur’an and the bold scroll work of flowery pattern, give a captivating charm to its beauty. The central domed chamber and four adjoining chambers include many walls and panels of Islamic decoration.
Open from Sunrise to Sunset
Friday closed; open for offering prayer in the mosque between 12 Noon to 2 P.M.
Night viewing on Full Moon Day and two days before and after it, excluding Fridays and in the month of Ramzan
Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 10 per head.
Rs. 250/- per head (ASI);
Rs. 500/- per head as Toll Tax (Agra Development Authority)
Rs. 500/- ticket of ADA is valid for the monuments of Agra Fort, Itimadi-ud-daula, Akbar’s Tomb, Sikandara and Fatehpur Sikri
(children up to 15 years free)
Fee for night viewing
Night viewing of Taj Mahal has been allowed from 28th November, 2004 for five nights in a month including the Full Moon night and two days before and two days after except Fridays and month of Ramzan as per the order of Hon’ble Supreme Court of India. The night viewing of Taj Mahal is opened from 8-30 p.m. to 12-30 in eight batches of 50 persons for half an hour duration. The visitors of the night viewing of Taj Mahal have to report at Shilpagram complex half an hour in advance of the viewing time. The entry is allowed from the Eastern Gate of the Taj Mahal only after security check near the Eastern gate. The visitors have to keep their luggage at the counter fee of cost. No video camera is allowed in side the monument during the night viewing.
The night viewing tickets of Taj Mahal can be purchased from the Booking Counter located in the office of Archaeological Survey of India, Agra Circle, 22 The Mall, Agra, Uttar Pradesh in between 10-00 am to 6-00 p.m. one day in advance of the date of night viewing. The night viewing ticket can be cancelled in the Booking counter of ASI at 22 The Mall, Agra on the same date of viewing upto 1.00 p.m.with cancellation charge of 25% of the ticket.
Rate of Night Viewing Ticket: Indian (Adult)- Rs 510/-; Foreigner (Adult)- Rs 750/- and Children ( 3Yrs to 15 Years age)- Rs. 500/-.