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Standing in Awe of the Taj Mahal

A trip to North India would be incomplete without a visit to the Taj Mahal no matter how cliche or touristy it is, at least that's what I think. I wasn't sure what to expect before entering the gates of the Taj Mahal, as soon as I saw it, even from a distance, I knew that I made the right choice of visiting this renowned monument of love.

Taj Mahal: A Symbol of Love

The Taj Mahal began construction in 1632 and was completed around 22 years after in 1653. It was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj is deemed as one of the best examples of Mughal architecture and is a perfect combination of Indian, Islamic, and Persian architecture. The Taj was deemed a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1983.

The entrance to the Taj was just as impressive as the structure itself.

When I visited the Taj in the morning at around the time it opened (around 7AM), it was covered in fog making it pointless to visit since you could only see a meter ahead of you. My friend and I decided to return after lunch. We revisited the Taj again after lunch, but was almost disappointed because the structure was still wrapped in fog. We soldiered on and waited.

Thankfully, the fog cleared as the day went by. We got closer to get better pictures of the Taj. The Taj was picturesque in every angle. The droves of locals and foreign tourists did not deter my enthusiasm for the structure. Others would say that it's touristy, but it's touristy for VERY good reasons. The white marble glimmered under the soft sunlight and emitted an aura of mystery as the fog wrapped itself around the Taj.

After taking several photos from a distance, I decided to move in to get a closer look at the Taj. The intricate details and white marble were beautiful. The inside of the Taj was quite underwhelming, but it was built as a mausoleum for the emperor's wife. You can't take photos inside.

There's probably no other mausoleum as beautiful as the Taj Mahal.

The small details created a poetic structure as grand as the Taj Mahal. Isn't that how love is? Small things make up the big ones?

Tourist shot with the Taj Mahal.

The fog slowly faded into the background as the day went on. I could see the Taj Mahal's silhouette right before leaving.

*There is an entrance fee of INR 750 to enter the Taj Mahal. You can purchase the combined ticket for the Taj and Agra Fort for INR 1000.

*Travel tips: Don't bring laptops into the Taj or better not bring a bag at all to avoid the hassle of depositing it in a locker that's around a kilometer away. I was asked to leave my laptop and bag behind before I could enter the premises. The best time to visit is around 7AM or as soon as the entrance is open because there are fewer tourists at that time. But if you're going in winter, better go after lunch to get a good view of the Taj without the fog.

While in Agra

After visiting the Taj Mahal, you can also include these places to your itinerary:

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