Me and my family visited the Taj last year.....
It is THE most beautiful piece of art I have ever seen.
There are no words to describe this awe-inspiring monument of love.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, prepares you for the breathtaking splendour and grandeur of this place.
I won't even attempt to describe it....but there are a few notes about my trip at the end of this post that might help you too..:)
The first view...
A closer look......
...verses and passages from the Koran....
...entryway to the main tomb...
To enter the main complex which houses the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan you need to remove your shoes/sandals. If visiting in summers be sure to carry a pair of thick socks with you as the marble can get hot while you wait in line for your turn.
..along the periphery....
If you can, buy your tickets for the Taj at Sikandra (this is possible only if you are driving into Agra from New Delhi/ Mathura).
On reaching the Taj if you find the lines at the entry too long I have a suggestion. Normally you enter from the West gate, but if you start walking to the right of the main gate along the periphery wall and turn along the wall to the left, after about 200 mts or so you come to the south gate...here the crowds are lesser and entry easier...:)
About the journey:
Went from Delhi - Faridabad-Palwal-Mathura-Agra on NH 2 ( national highway 2)
The road was in good condition from Mathura ahead.
Distance : about 200 kms. Took us about four hours - we stopped for a breakfast break - a 30 minute break.
Stopped at an absolutely terrible joint called - Saagar Ratna, Vegetarian's paradise - bad food, dirty, smelly toilets!!!!
I wish someone had told us there were coffee and pizza places - Cafe Coffee day and a Pizza Hut - just short of Mathura, in a mini-mall kind of place. Do stop there if you can. We did on our way back.
NOTE: If you are travelling from New Delhi to Agra (via Mathura) you will hit Sikandra on the suburbs of Agra. This is where the tomb of Akbar the Great is housed....will post more about it soon.
Be sure to stop there - it is well worth the effort. No crowds, easier access to entry tickets. The main advantage is that you can buy the tickets for the Taj too from this place which will save a lot of time at the Taj where the lines tend to be longer.
Go visit the Taj once in your lifetime....it is worth it!!!!