Explore the Taj Mahal on your computer screen

Bijoy Venugopal
Taj Mahal, India
Agra, India

Who hasn’t felt romantic at the Taj Mahal? The monument in white marble is a paean to love itself. Arrive early to brush aside the tight security, the blazing heat of the stones under a summer sun, and the throngs of tourists and visit the Taj in spring, when a slight haze still drapes the marble mausoleum at dawn. Pause a moment. The love-cries of sarus cranes echo from the fields across the Yamuna, the chains of elephants clank and the bells of camels chime, and you can travel back in time to the Mughal Empire, and dream again of a love that lived forever.

What if you could lounge in your living room and take a tour of the Taj Mahal? Or stroll around Red Fort on your iPad while waiting at the airport?

If you aren’t doing that already, you’re missing out. The Taj and the Red Fort are among 30 monuments that you can tour virtually using Google Street View, a feature of the Google Maps platform that allows users to virtually explore destinations by moving around seamlessly stitched images with gestures and mouse movements. The experience is even more compelling on the Android smartphone platform, where you can walk through streets in a strange city as your phone informs you of the places to explore, the sights to see and the restaurants to eat at. The Google Cultural Institute, in association with the Archaeological Survey of India, has unveiled 360-degree online imagery of a number of major Indian monuments including rock-cut Jain temples and Buddhist stupas.

Using its Street View Trekker, Google had signed an MoU with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, to bring the experience to its users. The World Wonders project of Google Cultural Institute already enables users to experience more than 130 locations in 40 countries around the world.

More resources:

Experience the Taj Mahal (Google Chrome browser recommended)