Inside the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal's interior is entered from the south side. Visitors were not admitted to the tomb chamber during the Mughal period. The octagonal central chamber is situated directly beneath the great dome, smaller corner chamber lies, symmetrically, below the four 'chattris'.

In the main chamber, the cenotaphs of Mumtaj Mahal and Shah Jahan are enclosed by an exquisitely carved marble screen, designed to filter the light. The grave of Mumtaj Mahal is centrally positioned. Grave of Shah Jahan, inscribed as usual with a pen box to indicate the male sex, lies to one side, set on a slightly higher base. This asymmetrical configuration is taken by some to indicate that Shah Jahan intended to lie elsewhere; possibly, the derivations of the black marble mausoleum stone. However, the Tomb of It-Mad-ud-Daula and his wife exhibits a similar configuration and was certainly planned that way.

Originally, the chamber was somewhat lighter but birds became a nuisance. Therefore, it made necessary to erect glass panels to keep them out. The walls of the chamber are decorated with Quranic calligraphy and petra dura work but the finest example of the latter is on the cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal, where the graduation of the colors of the flower petals is exquisite. Viceroy Lord Curzon presented the lamp suspended above the cenotaph in 1905.

As is usual, the grave of the mausoleum's occupation lie in a chamber below. This is invisible until someone loans a torch for a few rupees. Originally, the chamber was lined with gold sheets but Aurangzeb removed them after his father's death.

The two building erected of the mausoleum are identical. On the west side is the mosque but of red sandstone and surmounted by three domes. A strange optical trick occurs here: walking from the back of the mosque toward the arch of the screen, the Taj Mahal appears to retreat; in the reverse direction it appears to advance. Only from the mosque, shortly after drawn, the Sun appears adjacent to the Taj Mahal, thus providing a popular composition for photographs.

The mirror-image on the east side is known, understandably, as the Jawal (Echo). It appears to have been constructed primarily for reasons of symmetry. Claims that visitors were accommodated within, or that it serves as an assembly hall, are pure guesswork. It is undoubtedly the best place from where to watch the semi-precious stone set in the marble of the mausoleum sparkle, as either the sun and moon rises. From November to January it is possible to gain some impression of the moonlight effect, even at 7pm (but better at 7.30pm). Few visitors appear to know that this sparkling occurs: it is rather as if myriad glowworms were colonizing the mausoleums. Set in the pavements, in front of the Jawal, is a representation of the final of the Taj Mahal's dome.

One last questions remains. Is the Taj Mahal the most beautiful building in the World? There is, of course, no answer to this, because, as is well-known, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. But perhaps it can be said with some confidence that no other building moves so many people entirely through the abstract purity of its architecture.

Agra Tour Packages

Same Day Taj Mahal Tour By Car

Highlights : Delhi - Agra - Delhi

Golden Triangle Tour

Highlights : Delhi - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri- Jaipur - Delhi

Delhi Agra Tours

Highlights : Delhi - Agra - Delhi

Taj Mahal with Goa Beaches Tour

Highlights :Delhi- Agra- Jaipur - Goa - Mumbai

Same Day Taj Mahal Tour by Train

Highlights :Delhi - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri

Taj Mahal with Ajanta Ellora Tour

Highlights :Delhi - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur - Udaipur - Mumbai - Ajanta- Ellora

Taj Mahal with Golden Temple Tour

Golden Temple Amritsar

Highlights :Delhi - Agra - Jaipur - Amritsar - Delhi

Taj Mahal With Jodhpur Tour

Highlights :Delhi - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri- Jaipur- Jodhpur - Delhi

Taj Mahal With Varanasi Tour


Highlights : Delhi - Samode- Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi - Delhi

Tajmahal with Haridwar & Rishikesh


Highlights : Taj - Mahal - with - Haridwar - Rishikesh

Taj Mahal Agra Tour from Chennai


Highlights : Taj Mahal Agra Tour from Chennai

Taj Mahal Agra Tour from Goa


Highlights :Taj Mahal Agra Tour from Goa

Taj Mahal Agra Tour from Mumbai


Highlights :Taj Mahal Agra Tour from Mumbai

Taj Mahal with Khajuraho Tour

Highlights :Taj Mahal with Khajuraho Tour

Taj Mahal with Khajuraho Varanasi Tour

Highlights :Taj Mahal with Khajuraho Varanasi Tour

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