Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Taj Mahal

Visiting Agra can easily slip you through time into the era & grandeur of the Mughals. Not to mention the mesmerizing architectural masterpiece and other beautiful buildings here tell us a lot about the golden age of Agra’s history. Agra is most famous for being home to TAJ MAHAL-one of the Seven Wonders of the World!

For a weekend trip, we decided on visiting the Taj. So, Agra it is!! :) and we decided on keeping it a day trip.
Gate from where we entered the premises

So,we started our journey by car @ 4:00 am and we went & came back the same day only. This is the perfect time to leave Delhi if you wish to see the Taj Mahal in the morning. Normally it takes 3-4 hours to reach Agra by road (because of traffic, the roads are in good condition though!).We reached there in two and a half hrs and before 7:00 am, we entered past the security check inside the Taj Mahal premises.
This was my second visit to Taj. The first one was almost 10 years back though....and believe me, every time you see the beautiful Taj Mahal, every time it looks awesome!! As you stand and see the TAJ from the main gate, (which is made of red sandstone and in itself has certain striking features) you can’t stop but admire and gaze for long, at this architectural wonder called ‘TAJ MAHAL ‘. The symbol of love! built by Mughal ruler Shahjahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal or Arjumand Banu (her original name)
Reflection in water
Unless you see this magnificent beauty you will never understand why it is called one of the wonders of the world. I tried to capture a few pics of Taj with its reflection in water and I guess I managed :)

The visiting hours are decided by the Archaeological Survey of India.

The main gate to the monument is inscribed with verses from Koran in Arabic. The small domed pavilions on top are Hindu style and signify regality. Taj Mahal blooms in its beauty during the full moon. It sparkles like a jewel as the semi -precious and precious stones inlaid in it glow in moonlight. They say that it responds to the shades in the clouds during Dawn and Dusk. It is indeed mesmerizing to just stand there and admire this Majestic Beauty!!
River 'Yamuna' visible from the Taj- The Musoleum is located on the  right bank of the river  at a point where it takes a sharp turn and flows eastwards

'Taj' -'wonderful wonder' of the world-this immense musoleum of white marble, a universally admired masterpiece was inscribed as UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE in 1993  
Koran verses written on the wall
Inside of Musoleum- one has to remove shoes or can put on shoe covers  which are available at a nominal cost by the staff stationed here for the purpose.
Taj Mahal was started in A.D. 1631 and completed at the end of 1648 A.D. It was completed in twenty- two years. If you notice carefully, the twenty-two smaller domes at the main gate symbolize the years of its completion. It is believed that Mumtaz Mahal on her deathbed had asked Shahjahan to build a mausoleum in her memory that is unparalleled in beauty and regality. Shahjahan employed twenty thousand labourer to build this wonder of the world. Years later, the emperor Shahjahan, was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb at Agra fort. He spent his entire life admiring the Taj from his room at the fort across the banks of river Yamuna.
Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and The Mausoleum of Akbar, are few other tourist destinations to visit at Agra. Agra Fort symbolizes the stature and power of Mughal emperor Akbar. Built between 1565 and 1571 AD. The Mausoleum of Akbar the Great is situated about 10 km from Agra, in Sikandra. Akbar started the construction but it was completed by his son Jahangir in 1605.

Beautiful carvings on the wall
Well! I haven’t written in much detail (historically and architecturally) about the Taj. But believe me, there’s much more to feel than write about the mesmerizing Taj Mahal. Especially when you visit this monument of love with your beloved. I would recommend you to sit for sometime at the backside of the mausoleum (like I did, when I visited the monument for the first time:)). From here you can view the Yamuna flowing eastwards (which Shahjahan built in the shape of moon curve) and also the Agra fort.

A sumptuous brunch after visiting Taj at a good restaurant and we headed back for Delhi.

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