Entry To Taj Mahal
The four storeyed main gateway of the Taj Mahal is 100 feet high and is built in red sandstone. The Arabic calligraphy from the Holy Quran and motifs of entwined flowers, leaves and vines spiraling down its niches. These motifs have been made by semi-precious stones inlaid in the white marble.
The Southern Gate :
The Gate is towards the south, Which faces the old Mumtazabad (Modern Taj Ganj). It is meant for the pedestrians. On the right side of this gate is a Tomb of red stone which is surrounded by court yards and crowded with a dome. It is said that this is a grave of one lady companion of Mumtaj Mahal. Due to this reason this building is called as the Tomb of a Maid of Honour.
It stand on an evelated square measuring 156 feet each way. In the central chamber, there are two uninscribed tombs of marble stone. The platform of the building is octagonal and the cupola is turnip-shaped.No historian has given an account of these graves, yet they agree with this probability that these graves may belong to the personal ward attendants of Mumtaz Mahal.Just opposite this building, there is a red stone edifice of the same type.
The Eastern Gate :
This gate faces towards Fatehabad. There is a domed tomb erected on an elevated platform near this gate . This Tomb was built in the memory of another wife of Shah Jahan called Sirhindi begum. Due to this, the gate is known as ‘Sirhi Darwaza’.The main building is eight sided, having twenty four arches,a big hall and a verandah.
The Western Gate :
It is the main entrance to the Taj Mahal and this gate faces towards the Agra cantonment and Agra city.There is a red sand stone edifice outside this gate which is known as Fatehpur Begum another wife of Shah Jahan.It is erected on a beautiful terrace.The count yard is paved and its measurements are 130 feet and some 175 to 200 persons can perform Namaz in here.
The Gate Way To The Taj Mahal :
This gate way is an octagonal entrance hall, surrounded by small rooms on both the sides of the floors having beautifully ornamented gates on two sides, one opening towards the court yard side and the other to wards the Mausoleum itself. On the three sides of this gateway , there are strong balconies. The Gateway is a master piece of fine inlay work in itself.