I happened to visit Delhi in the winter of 2003 to attend a marriage function and the heart had desired to pay a visit to atleast one of the seven wonders on the earth. After all the body flew so many miles far away from south and and an extra 200-300 kms was worth the effort. I was not very keen to visit the place but for the interest of my friend.
After quickly finishing the mid-night marriage, we boarded an early morning train from Hazrat Nizamuddin with unslept eyes and threw ourselves to sound sleep once the train onset its journey. We had nothing to carry which saved us from being in the shoes of Byomkesh Bakshi and instead placed ourselves in the shoes of Mungeri Lal to enjoy our ‘haseen sapne’. It was not a peaceful sleep as the deadly cold winter wind was cutting across the compartment and through our skin and thanks to my sweater for having turned so caring in the hour of need.
The train departed from us in the early afternoon and we continued our journey befriending an auto rick. As we drew nearer to the monument, my disinterest started to distant and I started loving the colorful atmosphere that surrounded.
I reached the main gateway, a grand red sandstone building facing the Mahal that carefully hides it behind and the Monument resides amidst this bordered complex of these red sandstone walls.
After stepping inside the main gate, my eyes went speechless for some moments amazed at the sight of the beauty – the epitome of love. My goodness, an absolute white beauty standing afront facing the blue skies with its four pillars at each corner, just looked absolutely stunning.
The large white marble structure stood on a square plinth with an arch shaped doorway.
The marble dome is around 100+ feet high and is often called an amrud dome where the top resembles a lotus design and are surrounded by four smaller domed at its corners.
The main chamber houses Mumtaz and Shah Jahan but the actual graves are actually at a lower level. The main finial topped by a moon was originally made of gold but was replaced by a copy made of bronze in the early 19th century.
The monument is quite large and my friend had to take the photo from quite a distance away to fit the structure into the whole frame and I realized how big it stood in comparison to my tiny self.
As we began discovering the place further lost in its beauty, we managed to eavesdrop to the tunes of the guides that were enlightening the Non Residents of the country and we got to know a lot more about the wonder of the earth.
The four pillars (namely minarets) each proudly stand more than 130 feet tall and each one were divided into three equal parts. At the top the final balcony mirrors the design of that on the tomb. They share the same decorative elements of a lotus design topped by a gilded finial. The minarets are so constructed carefully to be slightly outside of the plinth so that in the event of any collapse, they would tend to fall away from the tomb.
The exterior decorations of the Taj are covered with stone inlays, carvings, calligraphy. Abstract forms are found throughout, especially in the plinth, minarets, gateway, and on the surfaces of the tomb. On the lower walls of the tomb are white marble sculpted with depictions of flowers and vines.
After spending a great time with the enchanting beauty, it was time for us to bid it ‘bye’ as we had a flight to catch from the City, back to the home South.
I am sure to visit it sometime in the near future again to refresh the memories and this time capture the beauty from the eyes of Canon.
Thank You, Shah Jahan, the beauty of your loving memory truly reflects through this monument. Salutations!