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.