agra india

a story of unending love - Taj Mahal

Friday, April 03, 2009tee

february 14, 2009.

valentines day and out of the country – india at that, the home of one of the 7 wonders of the world – the taj mahal. initially, we were planning to have the trip a week earlier but opted for the schedule because we still have a lot of things to consider (training, schedules, planning, those stuff.)

so off on heart’s day we went to this wonder, and but fitting it was considering it was a monument of love!

so here’s the story behind this grand and majestic structure which has, over the years, wowed generations and people from all around the world.

Mumhaz Mahal, asked her husband, the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan, “What will you do if I die?”

“I will build a monument as grand as can be, so that over time, the whole world will know of our love”

Built of marbles, precious and semi-precious gems and stones and taking 22 years in the making and 20,000 artists to complete, the emperor sure kept his word on this monument for his wife who later died. everything is in symmetry as with Moslem art, from the gates to the walls, and the craftiness and creativity of every minute detail was amazing. i especially admired the carvings and how the artists put in different gems and stones in designs, giving everything at that time was hand-crafted.

Unfortunately, the top of the posts were closed as were the tombs of Mumhaz Mahal and Shah Jahan in the basements due to some untoward incidents especially with a lot of people and tourists from all over, coming in.

the taj also changes in color depending on what time of the day it is, with the stones and gems adding glitter in the backdrop. For sunrise, it has a reddish, orange glow, at daytime, just white, and at sunset, yellowish. when you’re lucky to visit at night, esp on a full moon, the taj will emit a bluish light.

it was told that thousands of elephants carried the marbles and stones from afar. the king, wanted to have a black version of it beside the Taj, but unfortunately and obviously, it didn’t happen. it was also told that the thumbs of all artists were cut out after completion so that they couldn’t hold their tools anymore so that there would just be one Taj…

we went through a lot to get this trip to Agra possible (and burned our allowances in the process), but I’m not complaining. the long drive, the lousy hotel, the delayed flight, the late meals, the restless nights, all were forgotten when I set sight on the Taj…

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