Saturday, January 30, 2010

An Eternal Love Story

What else could I be talking about other than the Taj Mahal? This beautiful monument needs no introduction. It is one of the most recognized buildings in the world, and is regarded as the symbol of love, as King Shah Jehan built it in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaj Mahal. Ever since, the Taj Mahal has become a very popular destination, especially amongst honeymooners.

Although I had already been to the Taj Mahal once, it did not fail to awe me a second time. In order to keep pollution under control, motor vehicles are not permitted near the complex, and therefore, visitors can either walk or take a cycle-rickshaw to the site. I took a cycle-rickshaw and was dropped off at the ticket booth. My goodness, if you had only seen how long the queues were! The site had been closed that morning as French President, Nicholas Sarkozy, had come for a visit and so, naturally, all the tourists ended up coming in the afternoon. Men and women stood in separate lines to enter the site, some trying to just "casually" cut in. You can just imagine how chaotic it was, and I just couldn't wait to get out of the madness. Prior to entering, there was a security check, which was quite pointless as although it beeped sometimes, bags were not checked. After about 20-30 minutes or so, I finally managed to get in. Those visiting the Taj Mahal, please note that you have to pay to be able to use your camera and video camera.

The Taj Mahal was so breathtaking to look at. It has such a dominating presence, that I just forgot everything else and stood mesmerized by it. What I found especially amazing about this monument was the planning that went into its structure. Every part of the building was so meticulously planned, and just thinking that all this was done centuries ago, without the technology we have today, made me admire it even more! All the intricate designs in the building were not drawn, but carved in marble stone. The minarets surrounding the main tomb are deliberately slanted slightly outwards so that in case there were an earthquake, they would fall outwards and not directly on the Taj Mahal. Everything is so symmetrically laid out, it is just so impressive. I couldn't get over how they were able to think through all this at that time and execute the plan so perfectly with limited technological resources! My heart did go out to all those poor workers who worked so hard to fulfil Shah Jehan's wish.

Although it was very crowded, I tried to walk around the complex to take in the beauty of the Taj Mahal. The sun was gradually setting as well, and created a beautiful backdrop for my photos. I spent a couple of hours there, after which I decided to return to my hotel. I know I will never tire of visiting this beautiful place again, and am hoping it will be sometime soon!


DVD said...

Great story, great monument, a must see... Even after seeing it many times on books, it looks stunning !!!

banoo said...

Tajmahal is a monument of true love story and it is a proof of Shahjahan's uncondition & true love on Mumtaz Mahal! When I did Mumtaz's role in a dance (for which I won silver medal)my sister Vijaya admired so much about it and I was longing to visit Agra/Tajmahal! When I visited Taj Mahal in 1983, I really got moved! I thanked my sister that moment!

I would like to go any number of times....

Appu said...

The Taj has become so famous that when you ask anyone whether he / she has been to India, it will be " Of course where the Taj is" I have been to see it and I can tell you Preethi it is simply awesome.


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