Taj Mahal | A Token of Love

Time and time again, I have heard and read the story behind the building of Taj Mahal. It always amazed me how one building could look so different every time of the day. How it changed its color depending on the light cast on it.

I remember reading about it as a kid. I remember seeing the different pictures of it in magazines, and newspapers back in the days of no internet. I remember reading my sister’s research paper in university. She had cutouts of different pictures of the Taj Mahal from the different magazines, and newspapers it was published in. It looked beautiful then, and then when the internet came, I saw its pictures shared a countless times on Pinterest, Videos on Facebook, and Instagrams. None of the pictures I saw disappointed me. The Taj Mahal was beautiful.

As when it comes to my beliefs, it is not something that I agree upon – an elaborate mausoleum. Our burial processes are as simple as being covered / shrouded in a white cloth, and being buried.

However, what I found fascinating here was the talent of the designers, the planners, the builders, the architect, the vision, and the imagination of the people from back in the day. How did they measure? How did they know? How did they plan? How did they source the material? IT is to me a message of inspiration that you can imagine, and you can create with whatever you have something incredible.

And, reading about it all wasn’t any different from being there. IT was as graceful, as romantic, and if not even more beautiful than the pictures I had seen, and the visuals in books I had flipped through.

Some Facts about the Taj Mahal

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built it for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal who he was very much in love with. She passed away while delivering their fourteenth child.  It was built between 1631 and 1648 by over 20 thousand workers, and took 22 years for completion.  It is built from white marble which was brought to the site from Makrana over 300 km away in Rajasthan.

The Taj Mahal is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”

As one goes around, the most breathtaking part remains the exquisite inlay work that looks up from every nook and corner of the façade. The blooms are worked out in immense detail and every dot and alphabet of the Holy Quran is neatly etched, cut and inlaid to perfection. The flowers, chiefly lilies mirror the Mughal love for gardens.

Secluded and singular in majesty, the structure stands clearly apart from everything around it. The balance of all the elements, the garden, the fountain and water channel and in the end the gateway, all look exquisitely managed to provide maximum harmony in terms of visual appeal. The sheer beauty of the outside of a monument marks the serenity within.

Charges while visiting the Taj Mahal

  • Foreigners: 1000 rupees
  • Foreigners from SAARC and BIMSTEC Countries: 530 rupees
  • Domestic/Indians: 40 rupees

When To Visit The Taj Mahal

  • Taj Mahal is open from sunrise to sunset during normal operating days
  • Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays for general viewing and is opened on Friday afternoon only for those who have to attend prayers at the Taj Mosque.

The colors of the Taj Mahal vary from dawn to dusk. It looks milky white in the early morning soft light while the afternoon sun makes it glisten bright from the overhead sunlight, almost looking like a jewel against the opaque blue of the skyline and then comes a moonlit Taj breaking into the night sky, majestic and simply beautiful in a sense that cannot be put into words.

Kay

Qatar blogger entering Food, Fashion, Beauty & Travel Experiences in her online journal.

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14 Comments

  • Kathryn
    August 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    Nice write up, brought back great memories of my trip. I’m so glad our guide made us go for sunrise, it was almost empty which made it even more special.

  • Khansa
    August 15, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    We went for sunrise too. But because I was clicking 300 pictures at a point, by the time I got out it was almost crowded. 😀

  • Zahra
    August 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    I found it quite disappointing (The Taj Mahal). At the end of the day it’s a giant tomb. So much money and work went into creating a dead space – for only two people. If it was turned into something constructive it would have been much better. I guess the novelty of the idea and the beautiful architecture definitely add something to the world as well as the tourist income, but I just felt it was a bit of an anti-climax when I realized that effectively it was just a tomb.

  • Kay
    Kay
    August 15, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    For me the fact that it was a tomb was disappointing. I mentioned that in the post . But, yes the stunning architecture, the beauty it exudes and the skill set of the people who were involved in making it is worth a mention. But, then again I think it was a thing that time building beautiful tombs.

  • Zahra
    August 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is stunning – it has a mausoleum on the side – but at least it’s a functioning mosque. I think it would have been better as a functioning building – it would have added to the beauty.

  • Rachel
    August 15, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I have to be honest – the Taj Mahal is one of the few “great wonders” that was actually every bit as beautiful as the hype. I’ve visited three times now and am just floored each and every time. The only other wonder that has had this effect on me is the Great Wall, which is incredible

  • Zahra
    August 15, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Maybe it was too early in the morning for me 😂 the Great Wall was awesome

  • Kay
    Kay
    August 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Rachel I think I would go back again because it is worth it. Plus the fact that one of the minarets was undergoing maintenance. I didn’t get to capture the full Glory of it.

  • Ellaine
    August 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Nice write up. Taj Mahal has long been unticked in my bucket list, is flying from Doha to Delhi to Agra achievable for a weekend break?

  • Rachel
    August 15, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    yes for sure. I’ve done it three times. you can do Taj Mahal in a day trip from Delhi and plenty of tour operators can do this.

  • Ellaine
    August 15, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    that’s great news. However, I just checked Indian Embassy Site for visa and paying 50usd visa fee for 2 days stay may not be so practical.

  • Rachel
    August 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    we fly in thursday night, arrive delhi early morning. Sleep, do a city tour etc, then taj mahal on the saturday. flights to Doha are out early sunday morning – gets you into doha 6am

  • Rachel
    August 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    you’ve just inspired a blog post – India for a Weekend!

  • Ellaine
    August 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    wow! that’s quite an overfilled schedule for a weekend break. Any good recommendation to do? eat?

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About me

Khansa A J

Khansa A J

I love capturing moments and memories. This is my diary where I share with y'all exciting, creative, and memorable moments I get to witness throughout my life

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