We four are colleagues and used to sit in a canteen after our working hours, it is our daily routine but that day our gossip turns into an unscheduled visit to a Mughal Era. We started from Delhi, even though our train was reschedule by 3hours due to fog and we reached the Agra, the city of Mughal-Era buildings, at 1am. We took an auto and reached to a hotel. We woke up early so that we will be able to visit Taj Mahal on time and can spend enough time there.
We reached to the south gate of Taj mahal from auto, after crossing check post we reached to the Great Gate.
While entering from the The Great Gate (Darwaza-i-rauza) I have the first view of Taj Mahal. And there is it, the chills run down my spine when I crossed the gate and have The Taj Mahal standing in front of me.
Taj Mahal is just not a mausoleum or any other monument. It is a symbol of eternal love by an emperor for his favourite queen, in fact it is much more than that. It is one of the marvel of Mughal Empire, the magical allure of Taj Mahal can be feel when you have a first look of it.
Taj Mahal, "the epitome of love", is "a monument of immeasurable beauty". The beauty of this magnificent monument is such that it is beyond the scope of words. The thoughts that come into the mind while watching the Taj Mahal of Agra is not just its phenomenal beauty, but the immense love which was the reason behind its construction. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got this monument constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at the first sight. Ironically, the very first sight of the Taj Mahal, the epitome of love and romance, also leaves visitors mesmerized and perpetually enthralled.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder! Probably for Taj Mahal, the axiom is just the other way round. The Taj is the beauty personified! The Taj displays its different moods through its varied shades. The Taj has as many shades as any kind of beauty can ever have!
Picturesque descriptions by the historians contemporary to the period of its making, the facts revealed by the scholars & archaeologists of today and the panoramic montage of the reasons behind its making are sketched with every step you would walk towards the mausoleum the next time you visit The Taj! Whence its breathtaking splendour makes you wonder breathlessly and you tend to pause for a while but to continue staring at ‘The Taj’, you would sense them standing beside you!
More than a year since the Taj Mahal began sporting scaffoldings on its minarets, a mudpack on the famed monument of love to restore it to its ivory-white splendour. The ongoing maintenance work began on the 17th-century marble mausoleum to reverse the yellowing of the four towers. If the sight of the planks and poles distracted one from the famed picture-perfect sight, workmen will be next be seen scrambling over the dome. While our visit we have seen that one of the minaret was surrounded by metal rods and its scaffolding was continuing.
After spending our half day at this magnificent beauty we left for another marvel of Mughal Empire and this time this is the residence of Mughal Dynasty till 1638, when they shifted their capital from Agra to Delhi. Yes, we are at Agra Fort. The fort was more accurately described as a walled city.
We entered the fort from the Amar Singh Gate to the south is the sole entry point to the fort these days and where you buy your entrance ticket. Its dogleg design was meant to confuse attackers who made it past the first line of defence – the crocodile-infested moat. A path leads straight from here up to the large Bit Masjid, which is closed to the public. To your right, just before you reach Moti Masjid, is the large, open Diwan-i-Am, which was used by Shah Jahan for domestic government business, and features a throne room where the emperor listened to petitioners.
With the Taj Mahal overshadowing it, one can easily forget that Agra has one of the finest Mughal forts in India. After taking exit from the same gate from where we entered we visit to the famous market of Agra that is Sadar Bazaar. In addition to their magnificent monuments, Agra is famous for two more things and that is Petha and Leather. With a lot of leather factories based out of the city, it’s the ideal place to score leather goods at bargain prices. And Panchhi Petha, it has a lot more varieties anyone can think of and once you will have this sweet, after that whenever you will heard of Petha you will have flashbacks of Agra.
That is why I said Agra is much more than Taj Mahal. It is a city of love, it was a city of Mughals who develop it, flourished it.
If one has a heart that beats and that beat throbs to seek, the purity of love in galore! Surely one deserves a visit to ‘The Taj’, as much as Agra deserves your visit once, and more.