comScore
Taj Mahal picture in Agra
Andras Foldesi/EyeEm / Getty Images

Key Info

Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.9
Overall
US NEWS LOGO

Scorecard

  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    5.0
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Plain and simple: This is the reason you come to Agra. The Taj Mahal is a majestic tomb built in the Mughal style, which combines Indian, Islamic and Persian architectural principles. Visitors marvel at the intricate Quran inscriptions, the structure's perfect symmetry, the ornate accents, and the surrounding manicured gardens. But this monument's enchantment goes beyond its arresting visual appeal: The story behind its creation has drawn romantics for centuries.

According to legend, Emperor Shah Jahan (part of the Mughal dynasty, which ruled the majority of northern India between the 16th and 18th centuries) fell deeply in love with Arjumand Banu Begum, who became his favorite of his three wives. They shared such an intense passion for each another that he renamed her "Mumtaz Mahal," or "Chosen One of the Palace." After many years of happy marriage, Mumtaz passed away during the birth of her 14th child. To commemorate their undying love for one another, the Shah built the Taj Mahal as an elaborate tomb. The tomb is made up entirely of white marble and features jade, crystal, lapis, turquoise and amethyst stones inlaid throughout. Over 20,000 workers labored over the site for more than 20 years.

While most visitors have seen pictures of the monument and heard the lovers' tale, coming face to face with the Taj Mahal remains a unique and awe-inspiring experience. This UNESCO World Heritage Site welcomes between seven and eight million visitors per year, and hardly any of them leave disappointed. That said, the one thing that can disrupt the serenity of the Taj Mahal is overcrowding. Be sure to visit at sunrise or sunset to avoid peak times.

There are three entrances to the site: the Western, Eastern, and Southern Gates. You'll want to put any non-permissible items, such as food and drinks (other than water), in the lockers available. If you are not visiting the Taj Mahal on an organized tour, you can easily take a short taxi ride from central Agra as the Taj Mahal is located just east of downtown. The Taj Mahal welcomes visitors every day from sunrise to sunset, except Fridays. The entrance fee for international travelers is 1,000 rupees (about $16) and can be purchased at any of the gates. For more information, consult the Taj Mahal's official website.

Powered by Viator

Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Hotel Taj Plaza

Hotel Taj Plaza ...

  • 0.7 Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
Hotel Taj Resorts

Hotel Taj Resorts ...

  • 0.5 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra ...

  • 0.6 Miles Away
  • 5.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Agra »

More Best Things to Do in Agra

Taj Mahal picture in Agra
Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Agra Fort picture in Agra
Castles/Palaces, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb picture in Agra
Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Fatehpur Sikri  picture in Agra
Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Mehtab Bagh picture in Agra
Parks and Gardens, Recreation Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
|

#1 Taj Mahal Plain and simple: This is the reason you come to Agra. The Taj Mahal is a majestic tomb built in the Mughal style, which combines Indian, Islamic and Persian architectural ... Read more » Andras Foldesi/EyeEm / Getty Images

#2 Agra Fort Just northwest of the Taj Mahal, this formidable fortress rests on the west bank of the Yamuna River on the edge of central Agra. About a century older than its ... Read more » rchphoto / Getty Images

#3 Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb Located on the east bank of the Yamuna River (just a few miles from central Agra), Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb boasts a pretty picturesque setting. This tomb is the first mausoleum in ... Read more » Quinn Cowper / Flickr

#4 Fatehpur Sikri Believe it or not, this gorgeous city was built all thanks to one man's blessing. Emperor Akbar, the one also responsible for the Agra Fort, visited the Sikri village ... Read more » Peter Zelei Images / Getty Images

#5 Mehtab Bagh Interested in seeing the Taj Mahal from more than one angle? Then head over to Mehtab Bagh, or the Moonlight Gardens. Mehtab Bagh is situated opposite of the Taj Mahal ... Read more » We travel the world / Flickr

Taj Mahal picture in Agra
Agra Fort picture in Agra
Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb picture in Agra
Fatehpur Sikri  picture in Agra
Mehtab Bagh picture in Agra
Taj Mahal picture in Agra
Agra Fort picture in Agra
Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb picture in Agra
Fatehpur Sikri  picture in Agra
Mehtab Bagh picture in Agra

This classic view of the Taj Mahal is a photo op every world traveler dreams of. Andras Foldesi/EyeEm / Getty Images

Agra's star attraction after the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort served as a fort for Emperor Akbar and then a palace for Shah Jahan (the one responsible for the Taj Mahal).  rchphoto / Getty Images

This Mughal mausoleum is thought to be a precursor of the Taj Mahal. Quinn Cowper / Flickr

The ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri was set to be the seat of power for the Mughal Empire, but was soon abandoned after construction due to its poor water system. Peter Zelei Images / Getty Images

If you're wanting another angle of the beautiful Taj Mahal, head up the gardens at the Mehtab Bagh We travel the world / Flickr

×

See full list of Best Things to Do in Agra »

Explore More of Agra

Find the Best Price

Enter your check in and check out dates to find the best price

PriceFinder powered by TripAdvisor Primary Logo