Destinations Magazine

Taj Mahal – Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

By Sonyaandtravis @sonyaandtravis

Early in the morning, though not quite as early as the Sunrise Ganges boat ride, we made our way to the Taj’s west entrance. Once we were inside the complex we made our way through the Great gate (Darwaza-i rauza) providing our closest views (well, my closest view given Sonya had already seen it) of the beautiful Taj. We snapped the obligatory photos with the Taj mirrored in the reflecting pools and due to the early hours of the day there were only a small amount of fellow tourists.

We spent a good few hours wondering the large garden and surrounding buildings. The Taj was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and it was really interesting seeing all the Mughal architectural traits, a lot which we had seen along the Silk Road starting in Iran. One of the most impressive features was the detailed floral Pietra dura, the coloured stone inlays or floral patterns on in the inside and exterior of the Taj.

The Taj Mahal

The jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage
Travis and Sonya with the Taj in the background
The finest example of Mughal architecture

Great gate (Darwaza-i rauza)
The Taj Mahal viewed from the great gate (Darwaza-i rauza)
The interior ceiling of the great gate (Darwaza-i rauza)

Pillared halls of the walls adjacent to the great gate
Great gate (Darwaza-i rauza)
Local Indian men crossing one of the many pools found in the surrounding garden

Floral designs carved in the red stone of the Taj Mahal Mosque
Interior ceiling dome of the Taj Mahal Mosque
Decorative sunken reliefs of the Taj Mahal Mosque

Boy walking inside side the courtyard of the mosque
The Taj Mahal viewed from the mosque
Sonya resting near the Taj Mahal mosque

One of the four 40m minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal
Contrasting red and white tiles surrounding the Taj Mahal
Carved stone screen surrounding the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal Mosque
Colourfully dressed locals walking around the Taj Mahal
One of the corners of the Taj Mahal

View from the Taj of the great gate (Darwaza-i rauza)
The great gate (Darwaza-i rauza)
Detailed floral Pietra dura

Coloured stone inlays or floral patterns on in the inside and exterior of the Taj
Arabic verses in stone inlays
Intricate decorative borders from coloured stone inlays

One of the four 40m minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal
Local women resting outside the great gate (Darwaza-i rauza)
Colourfully dressed local women


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