One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is the epitome of undying love and Mughal art, a masterpiece of perfect symmetry, balance and geometrical patterns. Overwhelmed with the grief of losing his beloved empress who died during the birth of their 14th child, Emperor Shah Jahan ordered the construction of the white domed marble mausoleum in memory of her during the Mughal empire’s most prosperous period between 1632 and 1648 in the city of Agra.

Be enthralled by the architectural brilliance of the ‘lustrous pearl’. While you are walking toward the white marble mausoleum, you’ll be amazed at how immense the fairy tale-like architecture appears, with an emphasis of bilateral symmetry along the central axis on the reflecting pool. The raised tomb on a square platform has four minarets at the corners. Photos just don’t do justice to the perfect balance of composition.

Hordes of domestic and international visitors at the Taj Mahal in the afternoon. We were there to catch the sunset but the sun was hidden behind the cloud that day.

For many, the Taj Mahal is a must-visit on the itinerary of first-time visitors to India. We were accompanied by a professional tour guide from ITC Mughal that’s merely 4km away from the world famous attraction. As diesel and petrol vehicles are not allowed to enter the vicinity of Taj Mahal, we had to leave the guide’s car and take a pollution-free vehicle to get us near the entrance.

Calligraphic inscriptions and beautiful floral arabesques were encrusted on the white marble.

Inside the tomb.

The real graves of the emperor’s beloved wife and his own are in the crypt below the upper cenotaphs that crowded visitors to peep through the lattice panels.

Admire the details of the richly decorated, intricate inlay designs of precious gemstones representing flower and plant motifs and you know it’s all painstakingly done. Absolutely awe-inspiring. Sadly, many of the gemstones were stolen over the years. The Taj Mahal must be even more beautiful in the past.

A super long queue under the hot sun to enter the tomb. Some tourists fainted! We were very lucky as our guide was so experienced he managed to lead us in without joining the queue at all!!

We have to wear shoe covers at the mausoleum.

The opposite side of the white marble tomb.

Rumour says that Emperor Shah Jahan ordered to cut off the workers’ hands so that no one would be able to build another architecture as spectacular again. However, our guide told us it isn’t true as their excellent craftsmanship has been passed down generation after generation until now.

There are many freelance photographers at the vicinity to take beautiful photos for you at the Taj. They’ll give suggestions on how to pose like this!

The perfect place to take couple shots with the symbol of love.

The entrance to the mausoleum.

Ending on a poignant note, Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son at Agra Fort where he could gaze at the mausoleum of his beloved wife in his last years.

Agra Fort

Agra Fort or the Red Fort of Agra, another UNESCO heritage site located 2.5km away from the Taj Mahal.

A tiny view of the magnificent Taj Mahal from Agra Fort.

Intricate carvings and details at Agra Fort.

The Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River.

Read all posts on Agra.