The building stands as an epic testament to enduring love and is the perfect place to create a priceless memory
Staring the mausoleum he had built for his wife, Emperor Shah Jahan looked at the Taj Mahal, the world’s most beautiful building and said, “The sight of this mansion creates a sorrowing sigh, and the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.” Thousands of visitors flock to Agra, India, to see it every year, few of them ever forget the experience.
The Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and the emperor took it upon himself to construct the most beautiful building the world had ever seen. Officially designated as a World Heritage Site in 1982, the Taj stands proudly as a symbol of India’s romanticism and craftsmanship, and at the turn of the millennium it was selected as one of the “New” Seven Wonders of the World.
Visiting the ancient monument is all about creating those priceless memories, like beginning your adventure in the Four Points by Sheraton Agra hotel, just a stone’s throw from the memorial built by Shah Jahan. Experiencing the luxurious amenities of the hotel, nestled in the beating heart of Agra, seeing the world and sharing an unforgettable experience has never been easier thanks to the convenience of MasterCard.
From the hotel you can make your way through the myriad of winding streets towards the Taj, which can be accessed through either the west, south, or east gates – although the eastern gate does have the shortest queues. All three gates have separate lines for men and women.
The memory of what you’ll see inside will be truly priceless, and also just a memory – as cameras and filming are forbidden once you enter - but you’ll be busy exploring the ornamental gardens and gazing at the 40-metre-high minarets standing sentry at each corner. You’ll then make your way to the great dome under which rests the cenotaphs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal – but bear in mind their actual tombs are tucked discreetly out of sight in the basement.
While the promise of the Taj brings most visitors to Agra, it is not the only thing to see and commit to your memory. With your MasterCard to hand, you can easily take a trip to the Agra Fort, or head over to the Kinari Bazaar to take in the sights, sounds and scents of the ancient city. To top off the day, a must for any intrepid traveller is sampling the wondrous North Indian cuisine in one of the many authentic eateries before returning to your hotel for a well-deserved nights rest and the promise of more priceless experiences to come.
While seeing the Taj Mahal and the ancient city of Agra is just a dream to many, it can now become a reality with Newstalk and MasterCard. For two weeks, The Right Hook, with George Hook will run an on-air competition, with competitors asked to name seven items from a chosen category within the allocated time. The successful few will proceed to the grand finale, with two listeners qualifying every day. And that’s when it starts getting interesting – with the 20 finalists battling it out in a Where in the World-style contest, compered by the one and only George Hook.
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Thanks to MasterCard and Newstalk