Taj Mahal India, Agra – History, Timings & Facts
Today I am going to pen down my experience about my wonderful visit to Taj Mahal. It all started with a new day and a new place when I decided to explore Taj Mahal followed by other monuments left to explore during my ongoing trip in Agra. I chose last day for Taj Mahal as I wanted to mesmerize it forever and ever. Before moving further, let me tell you some fast and genuine facts about this white-marble mausoleum.
Do you know that the Taj Mahal displays its different shades during the different times of the day like it is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and glorifies in golden white when the moon reflects on it? I have also heard that after completion of its making, Shah Jahan commanded to cut off hands of the laborers in the making so that they would never be able to build its replica or other kinds.
Taj Mahal – My Experience!
It began with buying tickets from the counter which is charged as Rs. 40 per person. They are available online as well but you won’t see long queues so it can be done when you directly reach the venue. Surprisingly, foreigners have to pay Rs. 1,000 per person and entry for children below the age of 15 years is free whether Indian or foreigner. Quite interesting. Right?
After buying tickets, we passed through several security check-ins which unexpectedly didn’t take too long. Then, we walked down through the main gate entrance. We kept on clicking pictures on our way to the monument which has been named ‘A Dream in Marble’ by the famous Rabindranath Tagore. As it was winters, so I was saved by the scorching heat of summers and enjoying it. We kept walking and reached in front of a four-storeyed, 100-feet high main gateway of red sandstone. I tell you it was the breathtaking view of Taj Mahal when I peeped through this gate. As I kept on passing through it, the view was clearer and spectacular. I was in awe of witnessing it. I am being a little naive but unlike in movies, there was a gathering of thousands of tourists to glorify the beauty of this monument. I have seen in pictures many celebrities get themselves captured sitting on that famous bench with a beautiful view of Taj Mahal in the background. As we are commoners, we have to roam to the areas where other tourists could be avoided in the background. Fortunately, I was able to capture a few of them while in some pictures I had to use that blurred background facility on my phone.
Afterward, we walked down the pathway beside the pool embedded with fountains up to the ivory-white marble mausoleum. As I came closer, I couldn’t stop myself but admiring. Then, we went upstairs and put off our shoes as the security doesn’t allow you to enter with your shoes on. Then, we started heading towards the monuments. I was totally amazed by the craftwork embedded on the mausoleum with semi-precious stones. The disheartening part was that some of the work was missing as people are making damage to this ancient property and stealing these stones embedded in this marble. Hence, the security has become a bit strict and tight regarding this concern. There is completely dark inside but due to natural light coming from outside, you can see the rests of Queen – Mumtaz Mahal with her King – Shah Jahan entombed underground. Due to this factor, the visit to Taj Mahal is set up from sunrise to sunset except for Fridays.
On my way back from this visit, different thoughts kept on passing through my mind and I literally felt the presence of Shah Jahan, his wife and of course, the makers. The reason to build this symbol of ‘Love’ is truly admirable and makes sense.