Taj Mahal

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Taj Mahal. One of the modern "Seven Wonders of the World". Ivory-white marble. Picture perfect. But is that it?

Obligatory photo at Taj Mahal in Agra, India
Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by Mughal emperor; Shah Jahan. The whole 17-hectare shebang was built to house the emperor and his favourite wife; Mumtaz Mahal. Costs were estimated to be 32 million rupees, at the time of completion in 1653. Which would sum up to around 827 million USD in today's value. Somewhat in the area of 20,000 artisans worked on the construction under supervision of a board of architects.

Ticket Building at West Gate of Taj Mahal in Agra, India
If you want photos from Taj Mahal without hordes of tourists larger than the Night King's army of whitewalkers. You'll need to leave your bed before sunrise. West Gate and East Gate opens at 6 am, but you'll need time to get tickets from another building next to the gate first. Ticket price is 1000 rupees for foreigners.

Great Gate at Taj Mahal in Agra, India
After getting the ticket and hopefully standing in line as one of the first. You'll enter through a security check and then you're in! You won't see Taj Mahal right away, but you'll spot Great Gate first thing. Entering the Great Gate, Taj Mahal shows itself.

Taj Mahal seen through Great Gate in Agra, India
As you'll be one of the first to enter Great Gate, make sure you snap your photos fast. Hordes of tourists are on your tail! And it'll take only 5-10 minutes before the place is packed.

Taj Mahal at 6.05 am in Agra, India
You can also enter the centerpiece, which functions as a mausoleum. No cameras are allowed inside. Make sure you study the amazing details built into the marble. As you leave the mausoleum you'll see the reverse picture with Great Gate.

Great Gate seen from Taj Mahal in Agra, India
So, was it worth it? Yes, definitely. But I couldn't help but to compare Taj Mahal to some of the other "Seven Wonders of the World" I've visited. I didn't think Taj Mahal reached the same level of awe. To me, it was a "been there, done that, got the t-shirt"-kinda feeling I left this place with. Still, you can't really leave India before you've seen the Taj Mahal.

Hordes of tourists at Taj Mahal in Agra, India

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