Posted by: Thomas | October 18, 2009

Taj Mahal, India

During my stay of almost 6 months in India I had the amazing opportunity to visit some incredible places and I made sure to take the advantage of every opportunity available to experience as many different sides as possible of this immensely rich, varied, and stimulating land. From the moment you arrive you can see contrasts. They are very obvious. On a busy road in Bangalore or Delhi or anywhere in India, you could see a bullock cart, a heard of goats, a bicycle, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, a hand painted truck, a monkey, the latest model Mercedes car, a wondering cow, air-conditioned bus, and sometimes even an elephant, and all somehow magically getting along together with remarkably few accidents.

One of my dreams came true when I saw Taj Mahal, which is located in Agra, approximately 4 hours drive from New Delhi – a trip worth taking. Taj Mahal was simply astonishing and amazing. Build 400 years ago and it looks like it was build yesterday. Trip to India is not complete without seeing Taj Mahal. We arrived around noon in Agra. It was raining heavily when we arrived and we were disappointed on the weather. However, just when we stepped out of the car and started walking towards Taj Mahal the rain stopped and the sun came out. It was like in a movie. The sun was so strong, over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the blue sky was like painted. All of us, my friends, the driver and our guide looked at each other with surprised face. I could not believe my eyes. Yes, it was extremely hot and we all were very sweaty but I didn’t care. One of my dreams was just about to become reality.

Apparently about 30 to 40 000 tourists come to visit Taj Mahal every day during high season. Months of July and August are the hottest and that’s why there are not so many tourists around, however, there were still well over a few thousands when we arrived.

Taj Mahal or a “dream in marble” is the most beautiful building of the world. It is made of white marble in the loving memory of the then Empress of India. When she became young, she attracted then Prince Khurram and both of them started loving each other very much. At the time she gave birth to their 14th child she fell seriously ill. It is said that at the time of her death, the Indian Empress Mumtaz Mahal expressed her last wish to the Royal Emperor Shah Jahan that he will build a beautiful and incomparable monument over here grave as a token of their worldly inseparable love.
After the death of Mumtaz Mahal – The Lady of the Taj – the Emperor could not bear this great loss of his dear wife and his health began to decline. For complete two years or so, he totally abstained himself from all kinds of pleasure and functions. The Empress dead body was moved to Agra on December 29th, 1631 and it was again buried temporarily. The Emperor announced a memorial to be built for his dear wife and invited the best architects of the world. So many designs were put before the Emperor, but ultimately the design of an architect named Ustad Isa Afandi from Turkey was selected and the constructions of the Taj started.

The white marble of the top highest quality was brought from Rajasthan, India. The other material such as Red stones, yellow and black marble, precious stones, gold and silver were received from various kings and chiefs of the empire and outside of India. Construction started 1631 and finished in the year 1648. The completion of Taj took 22 years to build and about 20 000 workers worked on it. Also other buildings such as Mosque were built as well. Just to build the entrance took another 5 years. Further the Mosque in the front and some other smaller buildings took another 5 years. Thus, in total, the Taj took 22 long years in its completion. It is said that 22 small domes on the main entrance gate of the Taj represent 22 years spent in the construction of the Taj.

Everything in Taj Mahal is symmetrical and built with hand. No paintings. All the writings in Arabic, all pictures and everything on the marble were made by hand. The Taj is perfect fusion of Indian and Persian architecture. The tomb for the Lady of Taj was build in the middle of the main building; however, since the 3rd son was into power and against Taj Mahal he killed his 3 brothers and imprisoned his father in order to take over the power. His father, the Emperor, started to build his own tomb across the river of Taj, but he never finished it. He spent 7 years imprisoned by his own son and when he died he got buried in Taj Mahal next to his wife. And that is the only thing in Taj Mahal that is not symmetrical. Taj Mahal – Taj apparently means “royal crown” and Mahal was the name of the Empress.

For every hour of the day and for every atmospheric condition the Taj Mahal has its own color values, from the soft dreaminess at dawn, and the dazzling whiteness at midday to its cold splendor in the moonlight, when the dome, thin of substance as the air, hangs among the starts like a great pearl. Yet none of these effects can equal those few fleeting moments when softly illuminated by the brief Indian after glow it assumes the enchanting tint of some pale and lively rose.

The guide actually demonstrated to us how the colors of Taj change depending on the weather conditions and light. It is truly amazing. I have never seen anything like that before. Simply amazing. This day I will remember forever. Taj Mahal – Symbol of Love.

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Responses

  1. Wowowow! What a great trip! I felt like I was there experiencing all that you described! India soooooo beautiful!


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