Introduction — When and How?
India perhaps is amongst the few countries of the world that is blessed with a rich historical past. Some glimpses of its glorious ancient times, can be reminisced from the majestic and imposing monuments spread across the length and breadth of the country. One of these monuments, which also finds place as the wonder of the world, is the Taj Mahal at Agra. This was build by the Emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his loving wife Mumtaz Mahal, more than three hundred years ago.
Preparation for the journey and arrival on the site
I had always wished to see this monument and hence was thrilled to learn, that our class was going on an excursion trip to Agra in the Desshera vacations. There were thirty boys in the group and after tying up with our travel agent, we set forth from Delhi by bus in the early morning. The four hours drive to Agra in the company of friends was indeed a memorable experience with lot of chorus singing, dance and music. So enthusiastic were we by the prospects of this trip, that we did not feel the strain of the journey and before we realised it, we had actually reached Agra. A quick wash at our transit house, followed by light refreshment and we were back again in the bus, for our tryst with the Taj Mahal.
Visit to the historical site and what I saw?
Leaving the bus in the parking slot, we trudged along on foot towards the ticket counter. By the time we had got the tickets and reached the entrance, it was already late afternoon. The entrance was through a majestic gate like architecture made of red stone. From here right up to the Taj Mahal, was a passage on either side of a pond lined with fountains.
The monument was surrounded with lush green grass and trees, amidst which this monument stood in awesome splendour. We slowly wound our way through the milling crowd to reach the monument, which was made of pure white marble, which sparkled in the late afternoon sunlight. On the four corner of the monument, were high minarets also made of marble.
The main structure comprised the dome, beneath which lays the graves of Emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The walls of the main structure and the dome had exquisite carving done on marble, with precious stones embedded in them. On seeing them closely one could not help wondering, the great mastery of the artisans who created them. Placed in the middle, were the two gravestones of marble similarly decorated, around which we moved. The actual graves lay beneath them in the basement.
Brief history of the monument
The imposing structure was indeed a noble gesture of an emperor expressing his love for his beloved wife. It was however moving, to learn that this master artisan had their hands amputated, so that they could not create a similar structure elsewhere. By the time we had made a detour of the place it was late evening. Since it was the Sharad Purnima night, we decided to wait little longer to see the Taj Mahal in the moonlight.
Conclusion — Impact of this monument on me
As luck could have it there was a clear sky and as the moonlight struck it, a sigh of apprecLtion escaped my lips. The Taj Mahal shown like a monument bathe in milk appeared before us, as if descending from heaven. So wonderstruck was I that it left me speechless by its beauty. The sight could have inspired many a poet to pen some glorious lines about this monument. It is befittingly known as a dream in marble that symbolises true love.