The Taj Mahal

The story behind the Taj Mahal is one of history’s greatest love stories. The Taj is a renowned icon of India and one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture the world has ever seen.
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The funerary monument is located on the banks of the Yamuna River in the Agra region of India. Constructed between 1632 and 1648, the Taj was designed and built in memory of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took a workforce of more than 20,000 to finish this beautiful icon that combines perfect harmony, balance and incredibly detailed craftsmanship.
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The Taj Mahal became such an universally recognised masterpiece that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. What makes it so special is the perfectly symmetrical layout with a central axis along which all the main features are placed and the way the white marble showcases ever changing tints and moods. It shimmers silver under the moonlight, glows a soft pink at dawn and at close of day it reflects the fiery tints of the setting sun.
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Sadly, most love stories come to a tragic end and this one is no different. Soon after the Taj Mahal was completed, Emperor Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his own son in Agra Fort close by. He did however watch over the tomb of his beloved Mumtaz everyday from his room and was buried next to her when he passed years later.
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If you are heading over to India make sure this is on your ‘to do list’. When you go bring limited items (like just your camera) as there are so many people in the vicinity (thousands of people visit each day) and if you have a big bag you will need to check it in. The foreign ticket will allow you to skip the line and give you special booties to put on over your shoes (instead of having to remove and leave them). And while you’re there don’t forget to sit on the famous Princess Diana seat.
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