It was a beautiful morning with the sun glaring in my eyes and the first thought that came into my mind was “Get Set and Go for The Taj”. As my exams got over just a day before, we made a plan to visit the most marvelous monument: “The Taj Mahal”. The Taj Mahal is located on the banks of the river Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India and was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal way back in 1648.
We had whole family trip with my aunt and nephew altogether. So, we started early in the morning so that we can get the tickets and save ourselves from the “never ending queues” at the ticket counters. We booked a taxi and started at 8 am in the morning. As, cars or buses aren’t allowed within a 500 meter radius, as a measure to control pollution, so we decided to take a walk and finally reached the southern gate of the Taj at around 9 am.
As we proceed further, we were astounded by the enormous walls made of red stone guarding the main structure from 3 sides and then there is “The Great Gate” aka “Darwaza I rauza”. It was a huge gate and this idea drives me crazy as how did they build such huge structures when nobody ever thought of a thing like skyscrapers. On stepping inside, we were stuck for a moment by the mesmerizing view of the Taj. It seemed like the time stopped and our legs got frozen by the ravishing view of the fountains of the ”Charbagh” , aka , “The Gardens” and the marvelous white marble structure behind the them. I wished to stand there whole day and not to take a step forward, but just as I thought about it, I heard a voice from behind insisting me to move forward. I looked back and there was the security guard. So, we moved on further, gazing through the beautiful gardens and reached the counter for placing the shoes/sandals. As shoes are not allowed inside the white marble structure yet you can buy shoe covers if you do love wearing your shoes that much :-).
It was noon by now and the sun was scorching due to which, the white marble on which we were walking was extremely hot. We were literally running to find any shade to stand and rest. Yet, it was an amazing experience running all over the place with blazing feet. As we moved on, we came to know about some of the exciting things about Taj Mahal.
It took 22 years and about 20,000 people to build this amazing structure. The Taj Mahal is one the world’s most symmetric structures with its four sides being perfectly identical. The four minarets were built slightly tilted outside to prevent them from falling on the main mausoleum, in case of any natural calamity like earthquake. One place where it fails to show symmetry is the size of the tomb of the Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal having the male tomb is larger than the female one. The calligraphy inscribed on the walls of Taj by Amanat Khan contains verses and passages from the holy book of “Quran” in Thuluth script.
It took us around three and a half hours to cover the whole monument, taking pictures in every possible posture and then we came out of the monument. On our way back, we saw several Souvenir shops selling key rings, books, miniature models. I also bought one miniature Taj as a Souvenir of my visit at a very reasonable price of 150 rupees. It was overall a very beautiful experience visiting Taj and now I understand why million of visitors come every year, why it is considered in the “Seven Wonders of the World list”, why it is a national heritage.