Why I Lost my Heart at Taj Mahal
Every Indian or a tourist to India wants to be able to see the legendary Taj Mahal. I too had planned a trip to visit the great architectural wonder in the city of Agra in UP. Having heard of the beauty and the stories around this Wonder of the World, it had been my long awaited dream to come face to face with this famed monument of love.
Arrival in anticipation
I arrived in Agra, a walled city where there is an amalgamation of Hindu and Muslim history, evident in its rich architecture and culture. My hotel window gave me the most gorgeous view of the Taj, at a premium rate of course! But all was worth it, as I gazed at the monument in the setting sun, bowing mentally to its grandeur, unable to wait excitedly for the next day when I would be able to visit it in person.
The day of the visit
I had to go by taxi to a parking lot, where I procured my entry ticket and from where the rickety charming rickshaw took me to the entrance of the Taj Mahal.
I felt my excitement grow as I approached the mausoleum. The front façade gate is simple and doesn’t give the slightest of hint of what lies behind. As soon as I stepped into the archway of the gate, I got my first glimpse! Having seen so many pictures of the Taj Mahal before, I was sure I knew what to expect. How wrong I was!
My first encounter
It was a picture perfect scene. The white glazing marble beauty, with reflecting waters and the green courtyard, against the backdrop of the sky, was enchanting. In its simplicity and austerity! For a while I forgot all about my surroundings and stood gaping! I must have dropped my jaw wide open in wonder I guess!
A slight brushing of another visitor against my shoulder woke me up from my reverie! The best known symbol of India is every bit true to its fame. Perfectly symmetrical structures that compose a geometric wonder have many a mathematician wondering as to how such precision could be achieved in those times. Having read up so many facts about it as a prelude to the visit, I too felt the same questions popping in my mind, as I traced the perfectly smooth circumference of one of the minarets!
One of the rare attractions of this wonder is the awe it creates in both the poets that draw inspirations from it for their compositions, as well as architects that try to understand the flawless execution of the construction of this majestic edifice.
The lovely story of Shah Jahan, having built this beautiful mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, feels to be lingering in the air around the Taj. As I walked in and around, I could feel a sense of unexplainable mystery, as if the love is still very much thriving between the two. Biggest testimony that the emperor was able to accomplish what he aimed for – that his love for his queen is known for centuries!
Some more than is said always
The intricate carvings and inlay work in the walls was so beautiful! I wondered at how the craftsman from Persian and Mughal schools of architecture had gained such mastery. Completely immersed in my thoughts, I took rounds of the monument again and again and then went inside the tombs that are imitations of the real ones below. The scene inside was serene and equally captivating! The trellis work which allowed light to trickle inside was awesome!
Gazing inside the actual tombs from above left me with a mixed feeling of awe and a tingling sensation of feeling where I could vividly imagine the bodies of the emperor and his wife lying next to each other in peace forever. I bowed mentally to their undying love!
Adieu with a heavy heart
As I left the breathtaking beauty, I felt a bit sad, sure that I had left a part of me with it. Yet I felt richer, as I carried a part of the love and beauty of the Taj with me. So we became part of one another. Why? I can’t answer that. Such is the enigma of the Taj!
Perhaps it is this magnetic force that draws such reactions from each one of its visitors. This is what makes Taj Mahal stand out from the other monuments of the era and beyond. I was very lucky to have experienced this charisma first-hand. Will you?