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Taj Mahal

The ultimate monument to undying love and devotion, the Taj Mahal in Agra is the jewel in India’s crown. Built from shining white marble of many subtle shades, the mausoleum is a magical sight to behold at any time, but during full moon it glows like a luminescent pearl. Little wonder that poet Rabindranath Tagore described it as ‘a teardrop on the cheek of eternity’.

Constructed in the 17th century, the Taj Mahal was designed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took 22 years to build, involved 20,000 workers, from laborers to embroidery artists, and 1,000 elephants who hauled materials to the site. Considered one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, at one stage the edifice was encrusted with precious stones.

At a Glance

  • Perfect for: Romantics, design geeks and history buffs who will marvel at the scale, intricacy and majesty of this marble homage to love.

  • Best views: Savor the most spectacular views from your luxury suite at The Oberoi Amarvilas. Whether you’re on your honeymoon or simply enjoying quality time with that special someone, step out onto your private balcony, sip Champagne and soak up the captivating vision of the Taj Mahal shimmering in the distance.

  • Beat the crowds: Arrive at the West or East gate at 6.30am, 30 minutes before opening time. With your private guide, take a leisurely stroll around the exterior then withdraw to a shady spot in the gardens to admire the building’s ethereal perfection. Snap gorgeous sunset photos without the masses from the restored Mehtab Bagh gardens, across the Yamuna River. Be sure the visit the ‘Baby Taj’, tomb of Mumtaz Mahal’s father, along the way.

Did you know?

The four minarets are built at a slight angle away from the monument so that in the event of an earthquake they’ll fall outwards, preventing additional damage.

Did you know?

Taj Mahal means 'crown of palaces'.

Did you know?

During times of war and conflict, the structure was completely enclosed in bamboo scaffolding to camouflage it from enemy fire.

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Off the beaten track Rajasthan

Delhi, Agra, Ramathra, Ranthambore, Bundi, Shahpura, Devi Garh, Delhi

There is no better way to unlock the mystery and romance of Rajasthan than to get into the countryside and stay in former Maharajah’s palaces. Largely bypassing the major cities, this itinerary takes you to the furthest reaches of Rajasthan.

Best for: Adventure, History, Off the beaten track, Couples

Our guide to India

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