Whether you’ve already planned a trip to India and are simply counting down the days, or you’re contemplating booking a holiday to this beguiling country, daydreaming of what’s to come has been made all that much easier thanks to a partnership between Google and the Indian Ministry of Culture.
The Taj Mahal – perhaps one of the most extravagant monuments to love ever built and an enduring symbol of India that easily tops any traveller’s wish list. Built by the order of Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century in affectionate memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz, this iconic marble mausoleum is today just one of the 100 World Heritage Sites that can now be seen on Google Street View.
While Google Street View started as a somewhat experimental project – consisting of a car loaded with computers, cameras and a GPS device that drove around collecting images of city areas, it has now grown into something rather remarkable. Today it offers viewers 360-degree panoramic views of destinations around the world across all seven continents, and that isn’t the end of it.
Google’s Trekker camera allows tourism boards, non-profits and organizations to digitally map off the grid locations in order to bring natural wonders and iconic landmarks straight to the viewer. Needless to say, the Indian Ministry of Culture jumped at the opportunity to offer would-be travellers a tantalizing glimpse of its treasures, and began its work with Google Street View in 2011.
The legendary Taj Mahal in Agra has now been added to Google Culture’s World Wonders collection, and is just one of thirty iconic Indian landmarks that will be view-able thanks to Google’s Trekker camera. Other sites include the Agra Fort, Qutb Minar in Delhi and the ancient temples at Muvar Koil.
While of course nothing compares to experiencing the magic of the Taj Mahal in person, what better way to whet your appetite in the run up to that big trip or to inspire your final decision to book that holiday than with a sneak peek of this iconic treasure.
We have a feeling there’s even more yet to come.