Imagine you passed away, your wealthy partner is heartbroken. Would he/she build a grand monument in your dedication? (To be honest, I don’t think so) Only once in the world has there been such a case.
The year was 1593, Mumtaz Mahal died (she was the favorite wife of Shah Jahan). The Mughal king was in such despair. He wanted to do something, something grand in her honour. In her dedication, he built the great ivory white mausoleum, where he stored her tomb. Many years after, Shah Jahan’s tomb was also added.
The Taj Mahal displays the Mughal’s architecture. The Mughals ruled over Northern India through the 16’s and 18’s. The Taj has an architectural influence from the Indians, Persians, and Islamics. This was before 1947 (where the separation took place between the Indians and the Muslims).
The construction began in 1632. It took nearly twenty-two years to complete the Taj Mahal. Over the years, approximately 20 000 men worked hard, only to get their hands cut off. If somebody can create the Taj Mahal, then they could create anything. Shah didn’t want anything like that to happen. He cut off their hands, therefore there would be no monument such as it.
The Taj is not just a tomb. Once you enter by the enormous gates you will view the magnificent garden. To the left of the Mahal, is a mosque. On the right, is a guest room. Directly behind it, is the Yamuna river. The Yamuna is the sacred river for the Hindus.
The Taj Mahal’s size is monumental. But enough about the exterior, the interior is far more beautiful. Speaking (or should I say typing?) from experience, the inside is breathtaking. Even though I was young and was there for a few moments, it was incredible. The moment you enter, you are displayed by the caskets of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. It’s dark at inside, but the precise designs created with marble are amazing. The Taj has no lighting system, but the shimmer from the sun and moon light the different stones with beauty.
You won’t get to visit much on the inside. In a nearby palace, you can visit the room where Shah was placed for his last eight years. Let’s just say that one of his (many) sons wanted to take his place on the throne. From there he could gaze at his wife’s tomb.
If you ever get the chance to visit, please do so. It will be crowded, but that’s the true Indian experience.
Much lies in the heart of the world, but the heart lies in the Taj Mahal.