The Taj Mahal ,a beauty beyond words
Just 2 hours from Jaipur , a perfect escape teamed with an out of the world experience awaits you at Agra,The Taj Mahal which is an unspoiled paradise on earth, is a heaven of beauty. This grand monument is a definitive address of royalty and heritage which was undoubtedly slated as one of the seven wonders of the world and now honoring UNESCO world heritage site and a pride of India.
Leaving Jaipur on a early summer morning we turned on to the Agra road and swept through the “Ghat ki guni” tunnel on NH 8 ensuring a calm and serene long drive till Agra. I visited the monument of love last year having a sole aim to admire the beauty of the magnificent mausoleum, which has enchanted the world for almost five centuries now.
We marked our presence in Agra first coming to “Ram babu Parathe wale”which is the oldest and known eatery as the” paratha king of Agra”. The menu is well crafted with varieties of finger licking parathas served in all possible combinations of veggies, fruits and dry fruits which tantalize your taste buds thus a treat for the foodies. Parathas are flavorsome crisp as ghee is a generously used ingredient. Papad ka Paratha is a must try. Another famous offering that this historical city of Agra brings for the tourists is “Petha”,a sweet dish to pamper your sweet tooth.
We first visited the Taj Mahal on a full moon night under the canopy of star lit sky from a distance. The minute I laid my eyes on the white marble beauty, I was mesmerized with my heart awestruck and exuded with reverence. It looked peerless in its full glory under the dazzling moonlight as the moon rays fell on the white marble gave it a faint silvery glow adding life to the ancient charm which looked nevertheless magnificent peaceful and admirable. This staggering beauty was worth capturing not only in your cameras but also deep down in your memories.
As the dawn broke, my most awaited sojourn to Taj Mahal began.The Taj Mahal stands serene and perfect amidst the surreal natural surroundings of manicured gardens with its mirror reflection on the pools,tall trees by the sides ,located on the bank of river Yamuna completed the post card scenery while a mosque and a guesthouse are also in the vicinity. The dome is the crowning glory of the Taj while the four Minarets frame the tomb on each corner of the plinth enhancing its pure elegance. To understand the history and its hidden facts about the 15th century monument better,we decided to take up a guided tour .The explanation about its architectural features engulfed my mind in the royal yore of the bygone era. Various facts were unfurled. The Taj incorporates both Persian and Mughal architecture using white marble with semi precious stones studded amazingly by 22000 skilled workers to make the kings dream a reality. It took 22years to complete this symbol of eternal love where the emperor too lies buried reunited at last with his beloved Mumtaz. No cost was spared to make the most beautiful monument the world had ever seen. The most interesting hidden fact about it was it shimmered silvery white in the moonlight, pink at the dawn and ivory white at the noon showcasing various moods of the women, in particular emperor’s queen. The engineering marvel includes the fact that it is earth quake proof and was built without the use of modern technologies.
Walking further, the monument looked even more huge and majestic with intricate carving work and semi precious stones adorning the ancient walls. Each corner was echoing with royalty while rich history was oozing from every nook and cranny this left me in a spell bounding trance. I realized no photographs or words will match up what architectural marvel i had seen. Shahjahan and Mumtaz s tomb is placed inside under the massive dome but honestly outside is way more interesting than inside! To keep the enduring memories of the Taj mahal with you can buy souvenirs which are sold right near the exit gate.
Blessed with the most recognizable symbol of Indian heritage,it attracts admirers across the world .But, what many of us don’t know is that there is more than one way to view this awe inspiring masterpiece that is from Mehtab bagh which is at the back of the Taj mahal beyond the river Yamuna promised a spectacular view ,revealing another set of treasures. The most interesting concept about this memorial is that it is symmetrical from all four sides. Admiring the Taj mahal under the moonlight as well as from back and front was absolutely blissful which soaked me in the legends and lore of its rich past and truly a beauty exaggerated beyond words which I yearn to see yet again.
However, there are certain things to remember:
· It is advisable to carry a water bottle with you because it takes hours to admire the beauty and you won’t find anything inside.
· Food, bags, diary ,pen newspapers, mobiles and selfie sticks are not allowed to carry with an exception of cameras.
· Carry your ID proof as it checked at both at the ticket counter and at the entrance to the complex.
· While viewing the Taj mahal in the moonlight you are only allowed to take cameras and it is advisable to choose later batches to view the monument as the moon may not always be high enough or visible clearly during the early batches.
· To avoid the rush it is advisable to visit the Taj in the morning hours and it remains closed on Fridays.
“The white marble beauty enliven my senses in a divine thought that the Taj mahal is a heaven bought on earth”