The Taj Mahal, a true wonder! India
As I entered the Royal gate, I caught a glimpse of one of the 7th wonder of the world, The Taj Mahal. The more I walked toward the gate the more distant the Taj seemed to go, giving it a perfect view from the large framed gate door. Finally I have made it. For so many years I have wished to visit, and now was my time.
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, about 4-5hour drive from Dehli. It was built by the king for the gracious love of the queen, his 5th and last wife, an Iran born, Armenian girl from a royal family. The first 4 wives didn’t bear any children to the king, on the contrary the 5th wife gave his 13 children, 7 of whom survived. It was built after the queen made her king keep 2 promises before dying of child birth. The first promise was for him not to marry again and to take care of the children and give them both motherly and fatherly affection. The second promise she wanted him to keep was to build a magnificent dome in her memory, and he not only kept this promise, but built the Taj Mahal. A men of his word indeed!
Taj means crown, Malah means palace. The onion shaped dome is the crown of the building. The total height of the whole building all the way up to the pinnacle is 81.2 meters, width 62 meters. The whole building is made of 12,000 tonnes of white marble. The flowers it’s decorated with are from stones from different parts of the world including Italy, Iran, Yemen and China and are considered as semi-precious stones.
The Taj Mahal has 4 gates, the south, east, west and the north gates, which all connect to a large court yard. The north gate or the royal gate is the only one that gives direct access to the extraordinary mausoleum. Its height is of 35 meters, it has 22 domes at the top, 11 on each side of the gate, which represent the total amount of years it took to build this impressive building. It was completed in 1653 and the king lived 13 years after its completion.
There are 16 gardens in total 8 on each side. The most impressive is the symmetry of the building. From the south gate across the court yard, through the north gate, all the way through the fountain all the way up to the Taj Mahal, everything is in perfect symmetry. It reflects beautifully in the fountains which lay before it.
The Taj Mahal ticket costs 1000 Rupees, but it’s worth every penny. The best time to see the Taj Mahal is at sunrise being there by 6am is a must. On the other hand sunset is best seen from opposite the river at the Mehtab Bagh Gardens, which is at least a 30 minute drive. It may cost 200 rupees one way to get there by tuk tuk plus another 200 rupees to enter the garden. Sunset is around 5.15pm hence it’s of utmost importance to leave by at least 4pm to make the best of it.