“The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs and makes sun and moon shed tears from their eyes. In this world this edifice has been made to display, thereby, the Creator’s glory.
~Shah Jahan ~
I still cherish that moment when i saw the first glimpse of the world’s greatest monument to love, The Taj-Mahal.I was spellbound to see her beauty.A Gift from Human to the Earth in true sense.
Built in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal by king shah-zahan, this white marble mausoleum is one of the universally recognized masterpieces of the world heritage.The mausoleum has survived invading Jats and colonial Brits, who pried out the lapis during India’s 1857 rebellion.They later restored the building and erected a scaffold to protect it from Axis bombing raids in WWII.
It is situated in Agra, Utter Pradesh, India, on the bank of river Yamuna.Agra is a famous tourist destination because of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites .Apart from The Taj, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī are part of the list.Luckily i managed to visit these three during my 3 day stay in Agra.
This time time i was a lonely traveler in train and i had such experience first time in india. The connectivity between Delhi and Agra is pretty good with a number of trains and buses plying between.
It took around three hour to reach Agra-Cant my destination,where my uncle was waiting for me.It was a nice experience to stay in Airforce station with my uncle family.A huge area with greenery all around.
Most beautiful part was pea-cock and peahens.Though i found more peahens compared to peacocks. Their sounds are my Morning Alarm.
The fresh breeze on my morning walk road with peacocks all around truly made my days!!
13th April a day before Full-moon day i went for Taj-Mahal Visit ,My long quench thirst 🙂
There was a long queue at the entrance with Rs. 20/- entrance ticket at their hands.Though foreigners were charged almost 35 times more than Indian to enter.
Quite strange ,i never found such option as an outsider when in Germany or Denmark.
The four stored main gateway of the Taj Mahal is 100 feet high and is built in red sandstone. The Arabic calligraphy from the Holy Quran and motifs of entwined flowers, leaves and vines spiraling down its niches. These motifs have been made by semi-precious stones inlaid in the white marble. As soon as you enter the main gate you will get the first glimpse of Taj. I was overwhelmed by it, to say the least.
It’s got gardens and gates and pillars all completely symmetrical and in patterns of multiples of four and eight because it was believed there are eight gates to heaven.
I sealed my shoes by covering two cover under them when the time to enter the wonder arrived.Its to protect the white marbles.Then you have to walk up a steep claustrophobic stairwell 🙂
The crowd was more as it was almost the closing time .once i was done with climbing, viewed another wife’s tomb and a ‘guest house’ (just to keep things symmetrical) on either side.
Than finally i entered the mausoleum, the finest example of Mughal architecture.Each door has inscription of holy words from Koran.These words are not painted but carved in white marble and then exactly same shaped black marble is fitted in it. As a matter of fact this is true for all designs. The size of the words increases gradually from bottom to the top in such a way that it appears to be same sized from below .An optical illusion!!
Inside, there is a the false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan,the actual graves are at a lower level.
The Taj Mahal is open at night for five nights a month when there is a full moon, and for 2 days before and 2 days after except on Fridays when it is always closed for prayer and during the month of Ramzan (Ramadan).
And i visited just a day before by chance 🙂 In the full moon the view of Taj Mahal was astounding. A phenomenal feat of beauty!!
As soon as i took my step out of the exit gate, i felt hungry 😀 And now time for the street foods. In few minutes we reached Sadar Bazaar ,one of the most popular shopping destinations. Tried hot Momos, Suji ka Golgoppa and chicken Roll who was announcing the orders with a mike to my surprise.How could i miss Petha being in Agra.The famous Panchi Petha sell a varieties of Petha like Angoori, kesar ,chocolate etc. One branch is at sadar market where i tried Angoori Petha .But you will see many stores with the name “Panchi” and out of them a few are original.You can check the below link for the stores.
Now time to chill..A Glass of Lassi in the lane next to Agra Fort, the guy will make fresh Lassi infront of you.He made the traditional way of laborous churning to a cool job with the help of his high-speed motor.
This is how my first day ends at the City Of Taj.
In my next blog I will be sharing my travel story of Day 2 and Day 3 about Agra-fort and fatehpur sikri!! Stay tuned 🙂