Did you know that the Taj Mahal is not a Palace but a Mausoleum? It was built from 1632-1653 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal whom he loved dearly and had died at child birth. Both of them are buried here and it is an expensive expression of Love posthumously.
As we arrived at the Taj Mahal, we were met by this imposing red and white structure that we later learnt is the gateway to the Taj Mahal and referred to as the Royal Gate. I had actually wondered if the taxi had dropped us off at the wrong place. It stands at 100ft, is made of red sand stone and has Arabic calligraphy of passages from the Quran. It also has motifs of entwined flowers beautifully etched on it and is indeed a beauty to behold. There are also other gates leading into Taj Mahal namely Southern Gate, Eastern Gate and Western Gate.
Next up we walked into the Taj Mahal compound and were met by beautifuly well manicured lawns and several pools all leading towards the Taj Mahal. Below is a picture from the Taj Mahal to the entrance showcasing its beautiful manicured lawn and aesthetic pool.
The Taj Mahal is imposing both in size and beauty and is a true piece of art. All around, you see pure white marble that is inscribed with various artworks from Arabic calligraphy of passages from the Quran to flowers showcasing Turkish, Persian, Ottoman, Islamic and Indian styles .Ensure that you arrive super early for you to have a chance to see the beauty that it is, before throngs of tourists fill the place.
Once near the Taj Mahal, one is requested to remove their shoes and wear provided shoes which are actually shoe covers, similar to the ones worn in ICU or theaters in hospitals. This is to both keep the floors clean as well as prevent the marble floors from damage. Kindly ensure you have comfortable walking shoes and no heels ladies. Once inside the mausoleum/Taj Mahal, one finds the “grave site” of the Mughal and his wife Mumtaz lying side by side. The walls are well done with beautifully decorated marble and are believed to have lots of gem stones. One is not allowed to take any pictures within the mausoleum and thus the view remains stored in my mind.
For more of my India escapades, check out:
India 101: http://wangechigitahi.co.ke/india-101/