The Taj Mahal hosts a festival every year between the 18th and 27th February called the Taj Mahotsav, and it takes place by the eastern gate, Shilpgram. Showcasing the region’s arts, crafts, music and folk dancing, it’s a great place for visitors to pick up great quality goods such as wood and marble carvings, pottery, brassware, carpets, jewellery, silk from Varanasi, Kashmir shawls, handmade carpets and paintings, and to enjoy the best of traditional foods from around the country.
Some historians say that the emperor Shah Jahan who built the magnificent white marble mausoleum for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal which means ‘Jewel of the Palace’, also planned to build one for himself in black marble on the opposite bank of the river and have the two connected by an ornamental bridge. However, before he could do this his son declared war, deposed him and imprisoned him in a pavilion further along the river, from which he would gaze at the beautiful testimony of his love for his wife. What a sight it would have been had he completed his own planned mausoleum too!
If you are planning to be in India for just a short time, ReadyClickAndGo can arrange private one-day trips by road or train from Delhi to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal as well as the impressive Agra Fort and the inspiration for the Taj Mahal, the so-called ‘baby’ taj. Tour Agra with your own guide, car and driver by emailing Tara@ReadyClickAndGo.com