It's said that roughly 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal in India every year. Now, tourists don't need to get a plane ticket to witness the wonders of the ancient white marbled mausoleum.
Google Street View just unleashed its latest mapping project, which covers not only the Taj Mahal but also 29 other Indian landmarks. Armchair explorers can wander the grounds of Humayun's Tomb, gaze at the intricate details of Red Fort's sandstone walls, or trek around the ancient temples at Muvar Koil.
"These Indian heritage sites have historically been admired by those lucky enough to journey to and across India," Google Street View program manager Gautam Gandhi wrote in a blog post. "With the new panoramic imagery live on Street View, people around the world can now visit these iconic monuments online."People can explore these sites in Google Maps or through a historical interactive created by the Google Cultural Institute with the Archaeological Survey of India. Additionally, the Web giant has made a behind-the-scenes interactive specifically for Taj Mahal, which discusses the building's history, shows its architecture, and lets users explore the ins and outs of the famous structure.
"In a country as rich with heritage as India, technology can change the way we learn about and understand the past," Gandhi wrote. "We hope the Street View imagery of these 30 iconic Indian monuments will help share and preserve these sites, their stories and more of India's diverse heritage for generations to come."
Google Maps has increasingly brought digital travelers to some of the most difficult places to reach on Earth. In 2012, the Web giant created a way for people to visit the North and South Poles. And, over the past year, it has brought Internet users to remote beaches in Hawaii, Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery, and Japan's Fukushima nuclear no-go zone.