Ok, seriously? You stand here looking at this awe inspiring structure and can’t believe that you’re standing in the presence of this awe inspiring structure! I mean postcard situation here people!! Fair enough, the air is cloudy, it is India after all but it suits the Taj because you’re literally standing in a dream, perhaps a mirage is a better suited word to describe? Look, all I know is I have been waiting years upon years to set my sights on this monument and I was in love!
My initial blog post about this included my former partner, actually – read it – it’s lovely:
I was with a great love for about 8 years. When I first met her, I was smitten, I knew in my heart that I would spend the rest of my life with her and that I would take her anywhere and do anything for her, as she was my world. We spoke of going to India several times but it never came to fruition, be it because other destinations popped up or life, simply, got in the way. Yesterday, almost one year after our breakup, I sat on a ledge on the inside of the main entrance into the 16 gardens leading to Mumtaz’ tomb. I marvelled at this structure that Sha Jahan built for his late wife, the undying love and devotion that allowed him to house her in paradise for the centuries to come. I thought of my former love as I have an image in her likeness tattooed on my forearm, I pointed it in the direction of the Taj and quietly took a few moments and took solace in the fact that we finally made it here, as I always wanted…as one.
Choked up yet? 😉 Then I shall continue…the story (super shortened) of the Taj Mahal is one of love and then shitty actions by one stupid ass son. Initially, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had commissioned the creation of the Taj for his late (3rd) wife who remained buried in one of the 16 gardens (for 17 years) leading up to the site that would eventually become the Taj Mahal also known as Mumtaz’ tomb. So he successfully builds this Mausoleum and then begins work on an identical structure, this time, directly across the Yamuna river – aptly named the Black Taj Mahal in honour of his late wife. This tomb was to be his. However, his son Aurangzeb had other ideas…at first he had his father put in a hole, to which he placed his throne above and had the two front legs sitting on each hand of his father. He then had him moved to a cell in the Agra Fort and gave him a tiny shard of mirror that Shah Jahan could use to see the reflection of his beloved late wife’s tomb through a small window of the fort. Apparently, his reasoning for doing all this was that his father was spending all the money on building these tombs and he has no time for that. The story is, obviously, more detailed than that…so I won’t let your potential visit of the Taj be marred with my swiss cheese version! be tainted.
End result…known as one of the great wonders of the world and to me, the absolute greatest show of love, honour and respect…things we should practice in everyday life and this man made it last infinitely. Amazing.
Couple of things to note:
• No food or drink is allowed in, see the picture of my father scarfing down a banana when security frisked him and out popped this banana hidden in his jacket. Oh! Dad!!
• You may not wear your shoes in Mumtaz’ tomb – there are scrubs for your feet.
• You can take optical illusion pictures like the one of my brother pinching the top.