“A Dream in Marble, designed by the Fairies and finished by Jewellers.”
The line long learnt came back to my mind at the thought of visiting the Taj Mahal. Throughout my childhood, I had only heard stories about it and seen pictures in my history books. It was beyond my imagination that one day we would actually visit one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
However, it’s easier said than done.
The journey to the great Taj Mahal wasn’t easy at all. Like it’s said: to get something good, work harder. And we did work hard to keep our excitement in control and muster the art of patience while on our way.
I couldn’t enjoy the early morning view or the blowing wind as the auto-rickshaw took us towards the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was hard to do away with the excitement of visiting a monument I grew up seeing pictures of in my history books.
It was impossible to believe that it would soon be right in front of my eyes.
The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. She had been the emperor’s inseparable companion since their marriage. After her death, Shah Jahan wanted to immortalize her. The iconic monument stands strong as the symbol of their love.
My mind kept going back to everything I ever learnt about the white monument. I was soon brought back to reality when our auto stopped at a distance from the Taj Mahal. Apparently, we would have to walk the distance from there. Reluctantly, we stepped down, paid him the fare and began walking as fast as we could.
But when we arrived at the entrance, our hearts sank. There was a long queue at the ticket counter and ten times longer queue at the entrance gate. Witnessing the Taj Mahal isn’t a child’s play, I tell you!
Anyway, we bought the ticket, stood in the queue, got every nook and corner of our bags checked (as if we got bombs in there) and finally passed through the entrance gate.
My mind again filled itself with ecstasy as we matched our steps with the people around us. Excitement held me in its tight grip as each passing second brought us closer to the unbelievable.
It felt like a dream, an impossible sight, an illusion–as the pearly white monument slowly began to manifest its magnificence. First came the tips and then its domes and then we witnessed the divine beauty. History came alive as we stood awestruck admiring the “Dream in Marble”.
The white marble structure is surrounded by four minarets and stands majestically on the banks of Yamuna River. It’s decorated with semiprecious stones of various colours and Arabic calligraphy inscribing verses from the Quran. The precious inlay is intertwined with geometric and floral designs.
It was more beautiful than any picture I ever saw of the Taj Mahal. We couldn’t but praise the continuous labour of the 20,000 workers for 22 years under the guidance of the chief architect Ustad Ahmad Lahori. The architectural marvel is said to change colours, reflecting hues according to the intensity of the sunlight or the moonlight.
It is a remarkable work of art.
Our wonderment was broken by a photographer asking us to click pictures in the front of the Taj Mahal. And who could possibly deny that? We immediately agreed and he took us to the suitable spots known only to them and instructed us to take various positions.
On one picture it appeared as if I’m holding the tip of the Taj Mahal with my left hand and in another it seemed as if the Taj Mahal was emerging out of our hands. And so on and so forth…
After we were done, we went forward to touch and feel the ancient mystery. We climbed up the stairs after wearing plastic covers on our shoes and walked round the monument. Our hands never got tired of clicking pictures of the beautiful designs engraved on the white marbles.
Designed by blending Indian, Persian and Islamic styles, the Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal Architecture. It’s an extraordinary exhibition of our Indian sculpture, a display of Indian art and talent, an attraction for all beauty-lovers and the symbol of love.
In short, an unforgettable beauty!
Escorted by the beautiful carvings, we entered into it and reached the place where Shah Jahan’s and Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb were kept side by side. The thought that these people were alive someday, the presence of whom could be felt in the pages of the history, were lying dead inside the beautifully decorated tombs, made me shiver.
Walking round the tombs, we came out, still mesmerised by what we saw. But it was time to bid adieu. We began walking towards the exit, our legs refusing to walk away and our eyes demanding one last glimpse of the majestic beauty that was slowly drifting away from us.
Suddenly, I couldn’t believe any of it—I couldn’t believe that we actually saw the Taj Mahal, that we touched its carvings, that we walked inside it, that we saw the tombs and that we were there in Agra—it all felt like a dream, a fairytale.
And, believe me, it still does!
About the Author
Sanchari Das is currently pursuing her Masters in English. She devotes her free time to writing, painting, singing and enhancing her photography skills. The author of three books, Sanchari dreams to inspire millions through her writing. Born with a Piscean heart beaming with creativity, she is ever ready to embark upon new ventures and discover all the hidden sides to her personality.