There are three things that will intrigue you about India – its vibrant culture, the lip-smacking food and of course, the Taj. Such is the aura of this excellent piece of architecture that will keep calling you to Agra. My love for the stunning mausoleum kept on growing every time I saw it.
A live example of dedication, love and purity, Taj Mahal has been carved out of pure marble and semi-precious stones with perfection. A pathway along the reflecting pool full of fountains will take you to the breathtaking tomb where the Queen, Mumtaz Mahal, lies to rest in heaven along with her beloved, the King, Shah Jahan under the cenotaphs. Taj Mahal recites an unending saga of pure love, far more interesting than a romantic tale based on fiction.
Different shades of the Taj
It is truly the beauty personified at its best and reflects various shades. If you get lucky enough to keep staring it while it changes colours, then the shades of pink at dawn, the milky white shade at dusk and its golden colour under the moonlight will leave you speechless. Also, there are different overlapping variants, which are reflected throughout the day as well as during the cycle of seasons.
Poetry in stone
A fine blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, this wonderful masterpiece seems to be a poetry expressed in marble. The tomb is not just a universally admired symbol of love, but also, an example of scientific excellence and an architectural marvel.
I recollect my story of admiring the Taj with accounts of its detailed craftsmanship and exquisite calligraphy, not to forget, the references to its structure. From the minarets carrying a slightly inward tilt to the structural symmetry or the perfect inlay work, everything catches attention to detail and nothing can be replicated again.
The imposing edifice
It is said that the entire monument complex took almost 17 years get completed in 1648. The complex comprises the mausoleum itself, the mosque, along with the guest house as well as the main gateway towards south and the cloistered outer courtyard. Ustad Ahmad Lahori played the main architect in the construction of this great building that grew worldwide in magnanimity and popularity.
Standing tall on the banks of the Yamuna River and amidst a sprawling mughal garden, the main monument capped by a huge dome; is enclosed by four minarets tilted inwards, making it appear like a white blossoming flower.
A symbol of undying romance
The splendid building was erected as a result of the efforts of around 20,000 workers who toiled day and night to help the King Shah Jahan realize his dream of immortalizing his love for his favourite wife. He left no stone unturned in commemorating the unfortunate demise of his wife. The sculptors were called from Bukhara, stone cutters were required from Baluchistan and calligraphers were invited from Persia and Syria to construct the grand tomb. His efforts bore fruit finally when the grand edifice took shape with the help of numerous carvers, calligraphers, inlayers, painters, masons, stone cutters and dome builders.