Rabindra Nath Tagore, a noble laureate, summed up his feelings for 'The Taj Mahal' in a very beautiful sentence. I could have easily posted his quote right at the start, but I've refrained; this is because I wish that the reader reads about the revered monument, up close and personal.
'The Taj Mahal' was built by Shah Jahan, a Mughal Emperor as a symbol of love for his beloved wife Mumtaz. It took twenty two thousand crafts persons, approximately twenty one years to complete the architectural wonder. It's an apogee of Mughal architecture in India, a tribute from the grief struck emperor, for his beautiful wife. The tomb of the Emperor and his wife are placed side-by-side inside this beautiful piece of architecture.
The best time to visit 'The Taj Mahal' is during a moonlit night when the full moon rays are incident on the glistening white marble. The cool moon rays reflect back from the white marble and give 'The Taj Mahal' a tinge of blue color, it's simply breathtaking! Another excellent time to visit 'The Taj Mahal' is at 'dusk or dawn'. The river Yamuna adds onto the picturesque setting of the place and makes the place really calm and serene. The time and exquisitenesswith which God has carved out the environ for The Taj Mahal is indeed, worth admiring.
Interesting Facts/Myths related to The Taj Mahal(Courtesy: M Bansal and A Bajpai)
• It may seem ironical, but 'The Taj Mahal', a mausoleum, was built over a Temple.
• The 'actual' graves of Emperor and Mumtaz are not open for public view. What a normal visitor sees, is just a facade. The actual graves are located 7 meter below the artificial one, locked behind a metal door. No one is allowed to go through those doors, ever.
• Twenty two thousand workers who toiled day and night to build this wonder, had to pay a hefty price. The price was 'their blood.' The Emperor ordered his aides, to chop off the worker's hands so that no one can build a replica of this monument.
• 'The Taj Mahal' that we see today is made of white marble, however a 'Black Taj Mahal' was also conceived by the Mughal Emperor, which did not materialize eventually.
• The Taj Mahal appears pink in the morning, white during daytime and golden during evening.
• The four pillars around the Taj Mahal (see picture) are slightly tilted so that if an Earthquake strikes, the pillars fall away from the central tomb.
• Twenty-eight types of precious and semi precious stones were engraved into the white marble with pin point precision. (Looted later, by foreign invaders)
• The Taj Mahal is a perfectly symmetrical building except at one place i.e. the tomb of Emperor and his Queen. It's because the Emperor's tomb was not planned by architects, initially.
It's said that great writers express their feelings and thoughts in minimal of words. Rabindra Nath Tagore, I guess, was of the same genre of writers.
His quote that I mentioned at start of this extractgoes like this, - "The Taj Mahal is a tear on the cheek of Eternity."
Great words from a great soul!
It's believed in the lanes of Agra (the city where it's located) that if someone visits the Taj Mahal, he comes back again at least once, to live the breathtaking view once more.