True confession time: I have always been intrigued by the Taj Mahal, partly because of the story behind it, and I am unashamedly an incurable romantic. Emperor Shah Jahan had it built for the love of his life way back in the seventeenth century. Her name was Mumtaz Mahal, and unfortunately she died in 1631 while giving birth to their fourteenth child. He never got over his love for her, and the magnificent splendor of this palace is a testimony of their love.
No wonder the UNESCO made it a word heritage site.
More fun facts, the white marble that the Taj Mahal is made of is semi translucent, and the whole place took a full twenty-two years to build. Pretty neat, huh?
The Taj Mahal is in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It’s only 125 kilometers from New Delhi, and so if you’re in the capital, a side trip to Agra is well worth it. You can fly, drive, take a train, or even join a tour to get there. Yes, it can get crowded, especially from November through January or even February. That’s the best time to go as they weather is perfect during those months.
Pro tip: if you are feeling especially romantic you can take a two-day tour from New Delhi, and see the Taj Mahal under a full moon. Who knows that if you might be prompted to either give or receive a proposal, because of the beauty of the place? The Taj Mahal is open every day except for Fridays, when it’s used for prayer. And it’s got really long opening hours, from 6:00 in the morning till 7:00 at night. And, it’s also open for night viewing two days before and after every full moon.
Now, just remember to be careful, as you would in any other crowded tourist spot in the world. Watch your private belongings carefully, and make sure to transact business with officials of the monument, and not just anyone who approaches you.
Nevertheless, having said that, still and all India is a place to slow down and make new friends. The people are among the loveliest in the world. Sometimes you just want to stop and take photographs of something that catches your eye. Go for it!
A visit to the Taj Mahal will surely make you hungry, no matter how big a romantic you are! Enjoy some delicious (and yummily spicy) Indian food after your big day there.