The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal in all its glory

Of course, no visit to India would be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal. We went on a chilly winter's morning and, as a result, many of the pictures show the area still shrouded in fog. I have added some photos from a previous visit to offer a more complete view.

The Taj Mahal is reputed to be the most photographed building in the world, and fine web sites on it abound. Accordingly this page is rather modest, just some of the basic information and a virtual tour that allows you to see what is where on the grounds. What is important to know about the Taj Mahal? Well, for the romantics amongst you, it is a monument to love, built by the 5th Mughul emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz, "beloved of the palace." She died giving birth to their fourteenth child, and the Taj Mahal is her final resting place, along with Shah Jahan. Its' majesty was also undoubtedly  intended to be a show of the power of the emperor, and must have surely impressed Rajas and commoners alike.


Built in the Mughul style, the complex boasts beautiful gardens, as well as an intricate water system that diverted water from the nearby Yumana River. It is a huge complex that is accessed from a narrow entrance. This courtyard entrance or forecourt leads to the Darwaza or main gateway. Passing through the gateway brings visitors to the large garden complex, divided into four areas by the four canals that bring in water for the fountains in front of the Taj Mahal; these canals are also used to irrigate the gardens. Beyond the Gardens lies the Taj Mahal, flanked on one side by a Jami Masjid (Friday Mosque) a large mosque used for the Friday worship services, and a guesthouse on the other side, used to provide symmetry to the architectural design. Between the Taj Mahal and these two buildings are the traditional ablution pools that are found outside most mosques. On an elevated platform in the center lies the Taj Mahal.

Virtual Tour of the Taj Mahal

Instructions: There are two ways to use this tour. You may place the mouse over the numbers in the illustration below, and the respective description page will open [note: this requires that adblock is turned off for this site]. If that does not work, please select the appropriately numbered box the table below and click on the link to open the page.

1. Entrance
4. Reflection Pool
7. Taj Mahal Plinth
2. Darwaza
5. Charbagh (Gardens)
8. Taj Mahal Interior
3. Watercourse
6. Jami Masjid
9. Jawab or Guesthouse

360 Tour of the Taj Mahal and Grounds (New)

Instructions: Here is an updated tour, complete with audio narration, 360 degree views, as well as embedded photo and videos. To navigate between scenes select the round photo icons. For all other information, select the appropriately labeled icons. Click on the audio icon to begin the tour narration.

East Gate EntranceSnap Content

Virtual Reality Tour for VR Headsets

QR CodeThere is also a version of this tour that works in VR headsets, such as Google Cardboard, and it works with both iPhones as well as on Android smartphones. It can be accessed by scanning the QR code on the left. If you are on a mobile phone you may access the tour by following this link.

For iOS devices: scan QR code with device camera app, tap on prompt to open Safari, select "allow device motion" and on the next prompt "allow access to motion orientation." Turn device to landscape mode and a split screen will appear. When the screen turns white, swipe up for fullscreen and place device in headset.  Here is a video of how to do this--it is simpler than it sounds! [Video opens in a separate window-close window to return to page]

For Android devices: use the phone's camera to scan the QR code, and then select the tour you want to visit. Wait for the tour to load. Tour will appear in a split screen, and tap on the "X" and the bottom menu to go fullscreen. Turn the phone to portrait mode, place in headset and enjoy the tour. Here is a video of how to do this--it is simpler than it sounds! [Video opens in a separate window-close window to return to page]

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