We have all heard about the beauty of the Taj Mahal, but we can only understand the perfect beauty when we actually see the Taj Mahal. Such technical excellence in those times is absolutely astounding.
We took a trip to Agra in the month of March. The logical order of starting the Agra trip is to start with a visit to the Agra Fort and Taj Mahal after that.
This is the entrance to the Taj Mahal.
When you come close to the entrance gate, this is the first view of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is right outside the gate, right?
Wrong. This is the actual distance of the Taj Mahal from the Gate.
This is an optical illusion. The Taj Mahal is full of optical illusions like this which were created to make it the a complete marvel.
When you enter the gate, the first view of the Taj Mahal made me feel like I was looking at a painting in the sky. No construction has been allowed behind the Taj Mahal so that the view of the Taj Mahal is not spoilt. This picture doesn’t even do 1/4th justice to the actual beauty of the Taj Mahal. You have to see it in real. It will take your breath away.
This is the famous bench outside Taj Mahal where so many film shootings have happened.
The iconic pose
When you stand facing the gate with your back towards the Taj Mahal, you will see the gate is exactly in the same spot as the Taj Mahal, on the other side. The entire monument is an example of perfect symmetry.
The four minarets around the Taj Mahal are slightly tiliting outwards. Look at the picture.
Do you know why this is so? It is because, if there is ever an earthquake, the minarets will fall outwards and not on the main building.
The architecture of Taj Mahal has all the influences of Hindu, Muslim and Persian Architecture.
A huge kalash engraved into the floor at Taj Mahal.
A beautiful view of the River Yamuna from behind the Taj Mahal. This place is so serene that I just wanted to sit here and spend the entire day.
Another view. That’s the Agra Fort on the opposite bank of the river.
There are 16 gardens in front of the Taj Mahal. There are lot of mysteries and stories surrounding the numbers around Taj Mahal which I am not revealing. That should be heard when you go there. It is absolutely essential to get a Guide for first time visitors.
There is a Jama Masjid(Mosque) inside the complex. It is on the left side of the Taj Mahal. The sides of the Taj Mahal have this design which is called the Honeycomb design. Through each opening, you can see the entire Jama Masjid. This is an optical illusion again.
The main bulding is surrounded by this Persian carpet design on all four sides.
The garden that you see in the picture is Mehtab Bagh which is behind the Taj Mahal.
Shah Jahan had built the white Taj Mahal as a tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. In the same way, he had planned to built a black Taj Mahal as a tomb for himself opposite the white Taj Mahal near Mehtab Bagh, so that his and Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb could be near each other’s and they would be close even after death.
The marked circular spot that you see is where he had planned to build the Black Taj Mahal.
However, by then Aurangzeb(Shah Jahan’s son) had usurped power from his father and he disapproved of such extravagance. He had already put Shah Jahan under house arrest. He stopped the construction of the Black Taj Mahal. Imagine what a sight it would have been to see the white and black Taj Mahal on the opposite sides of the river Yamuna. We have been deprived of something so beautiful.
Shah Jahan was buried in the Taj Mahal next to Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb. You can see the two tombs together. Photography is not allowed inside.
Please don’t believe all those stupid stories about how Taj Mahal was a Hindu monument which was usurped by the Mughals. This is sheer nonsense. Shah Jahan had a Hindu mother and a Hindu wife and Mumtaz Mahal was a Persian. That’s where all these varied influences come from.