Everyone has heard of India's gleaming Taj Mahal, but who has heard of India's "Mini Taj Mahal?" The Mini Taj Mahal is formally known as Bibi Ka Maqbara and is located in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The Mini Taj Mahal is very much worth visiting and much less touristic than the main Taj Mahal.

The famous Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra and is a much for anyone visiting India. Agra is not particularly remarkable for much else, but it has been known to see herds of water buffalo wandering down the streets in the middle of the city (of a million people). Of course, everyone visiting India should visit the Taj Mahal and don't forget that there is a second one too!

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What To Know Of The Mini Taj Mahal

The Bibi Ka Maqbara is nearly as old as the Taj Mahal. Whereas the Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632, the Bibi Ka Maqbara was commissioned 28 years later in 1660 by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Like the Taj Mahal, it was built by a Mughal emperor of India and like the Taj Mahal, it was built for his beloved wife (namely Dilras Banu Begum).

  • Name: Means "Tomb of the Lady" In English
  • Built By: Mughal Emperor Aurungzeb (the sixth Mughal Emperor)
  • Built For: The Emperor's Wife Dilras Banu Begum (posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Durami)

The Taj Mahal and the Mini Taj Mahal are connected in another way. The main Taj Mahal is the mausoleum of Emperor Aurangzeb's mother, Mumtaz Mahal. Meaning that the two tombs are for mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. While it is tempting to compare the mini Taj Mahal (or Bibi Ka Maqbara) with the vaunted Taj Mahal, that tends to exclude the mausoleum's own considerable charm.

The Mini Taj Mahal is built with white marble till the dado. The marble is finely polished and decorated with stucco patterns and the remnants of Rabia Durani (Dilras Banu Begum) are engraved in the center of the mausoleum and surrounded by an octagonal marble screen with amazing designs. One can reach where Rabia Durani lies by a flight of steps leading downwards.

The whole monument is wonderfully wrought with beautiful trellis work and adjoining panels on the outsides and intricate latticework on the tomb itself.

Related: The Taj Mahal: 20 Things Everyone Needs To Know About The Crown Jewel Of India

How To Visit The Mini Taj Mahal

The Mini Taj Mahal is easy to visit, the closest airport is in the nearby city of Aurangabad only around 10 km or 6 miles away. The nearest train is also in Aurangabad around 5.5 km or 3 miles away, or one can drive there with a taxi as it's only 4 km or 2.5 miles away from Aurangabad (for those on a budget State Transport Bus is also an option).

One should reckon on spending around an hour and a half visiting the mini Taj Mahal.

  • Opening Times: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm
  • Address: Bibi Ka Maqbara, Aurangabad- 431001, Maharashtra, India
  • Time Required: 01:30 Hrs
  • Busiest Time: 2-3 pm (Avoid This Time To Avoid The Crowds)
  • Photography: Photography Is Permitted In The Mausoleum

Admission:

  • Rs 10 for Indians ($0.13)
  • Rs 250 for foreigners ($3)

Some of the restaurants in the area include:

  • Manoj Restaurant
  • Tazeera Restaurant
  • Pawa Spot Chinese
  • Chinese Griu Fast Food
  • Sagar Restaurant
  • Mughal Corner

Related: India's Taj Mahal Is Slow Changing Color Due To Insect Poop And Pollution

Take A Guided Tour Of the Mini Taj Mahal and the Region

Tours of the Mini Taj Mahal typically include other attractions in the Aurangabad region. Aurangabad is the Tourism Capital of Maharashtra and is the hub for tourists to explore the many attractions of the region. The most notable attractions are the extremely famous caves of Ajanta and Ellora. Other attractions include Daulatabad Fort (renowned for its strong defense systems), the Mausoleum of Aurangzeb, and of course, Bibi-Ka-Maqbara.

Private 2 Days Tour: Ajanta Ellora Caves and Aurangabad City

As an example of the tours offered from Aurangabad this tour explores Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort, Valley of the Sufi Saints, and Bibi Ka Maqbara and is a hassle free way of visiting everything there is to see in the area.

  • Duration: 2 days
  • Cost: From $95 (Approx)
  • Includes: Private transportation, Air-conditioned vehicle, Hotel Pick up
  • Excludes: Meals & Hotel Accommodation, Entry Fees, Expert Guide
  • Sites Visited: Ajanta Caves, Ellora Caves, Daulatabad Fort, Valley of the Sufi Saints, Bibi Ka Maqbara

While it is normally cheaper to explore by oneself, India can be a little overwhelming for first time travelers and a guided tour may be the better option.