Hillman Wonders Hillman Wonders of the World

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal Why the Taj Mahal in Agra is special
Most travelers call this wonder in India the world's most beautiful building - ever. Some say it's worth a trip half way around the world just to see it.

Labor of love
The grieving Mogul emperor Shah Jahan erected it in the 1600s as the final resting place for his beloved queen. He wanted to perpetuate her memory. It took 22 years and 22,000 people to complete the Taj Mahal.

When to visit and not visit the Taj Mahal
Popular months
January and February are the two coolest temperature months and therefore are the most popular. However, tourist crowds are thick. And, in January, your photographs may suffer a bit because the sky can be hazy.

Good compromise
March to mid-April and October to December are ideal times if you want comfortable weather without experiencing thick tourist crowds.

Least desirable times
Heavy monsoon rains fall in July to mid September - and temperatures can be scorching from mid-April to June.

Best time of day for viewing
The Taj Mahal is particularly sublime at sunrise and, to a somewhat lesser degree, at sunset.

The problem with midday viewing is a lack of sufficient shadows. They accentuate the building's graceful curves.

Full moon - the good & the bad
The experience of seeing the Taj Mahal during a full moon (or on the night or two before or after that lunar event) is mesmerizingly mystical.

But be aware that this full-moon happening draws droves of tourists, which partially diminishes the ethereal experience.

Corrosion damage
Air pollution from factories, cars and other sources has been slowly but surely corroding the wonder. However, the government of India is now making an effort to alleviate this serious problem.

Getting there
The wonder is in Agra, about 200 kilometers (125 miles) south of New Delhi, the capital of India. You can easily travel to Agra from Delhi by air, rail or road.

Costly project
$100 million
The Taj Mahal cost is equivalent to about US $100 million. It also cost Shah Jahan dearly. Because it acutely drained the treasury, Jahan was dethroned and imprisoned for the last nine years of his life. From his prison quarters, he could poignantly see the wonder where his love lay and where he himself would eventually be.

Today, this wonder is truly priceless. Even if you had the US$100 million, no one could today assemble craftsmen in or outside of India with the same skills and talent levels of those who toiled on the monument.

The craftsmen and the materials came from India and beyond, as far away as China and Italy.

Location in India
Taj Mahal Map
go to top