Essay on Taj Mahal
“There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it and those who have not seen the Taj Mahal and love it.” ~ William J. Clinton
Great art always inspired me, even as a kid. I remember visiting the magnificent Taj Mahal with my family a few years back. We had gone to the city of Agra in the summer season when my sister and I had our summer vacation going on.
We went there by car and reached at a very quick speed due to the fantastic expressway. We checked into our hotel and had our dinner. I couldn’t wait for the next day to come as I was so excited to visit such a splendid monument finally.
We woke up the next day, got ready, had our breakfast and set out to explore. We reached the Taj Mahal by 11’o clock. The entry ticket was Rs. 40 for all Indians whereas for foreigners it was Rs. 1,000.
Children below the age of 15 years could visit the monument for free. I also read on a signboard that the Taj Mahal remained closed on every Friday. We also hired a guide who filled us with valuable information related to the monument which I am going to share with you all.
As soon as we entered through the gate, I could see a beautiful sight right in front of me. The Taj Mahal is situated on the southern banks of the river Yamuna. It is made up of white marble and reaches a height of up to 240 feet high.
It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his most pretty and favourite wife; Mumtaz. The tomb is the resting place of the coffins of both of them and is surrounded by luscious green gardens from three sides. The complex also has a mosque built within it.
Taj Mahal – Construction and Architecture
The inspiration for building Taj Mahal had come to Shah Jahan because of his eternal love towards Mumtaz Mahal. He built it in her remembrance when she died giving birth to their 14th child.
The construction began in the year 1632. The complex wasn’t built together in one go; instead, it was constructed in stages. It is said that the raw materials needed to make the monument was brought from all around India and even outside it.
The white marble was brought from Rajasthan, Sapphire from Sri Lanka, crystal from China, and the turquoise were from Tibet. It took around 1,000 elephants to transport these raw materials and 22,000 labourers, including painters and stone cutters to build this wonder.
The Taj Mahal is considered to be the most remarkable example of Persian and Mughal architecture. The tomb in the centre of the complex is its main attractions. It rests on the asymmetrical cube with eight sides.
The tomb also has four minarets surrounding it. The exterior decorations comprise of carvings, reflective tiles and jalis (meshes). Sacred passages from the holy Quran are calligraphed on the walls.
The interior of the monument comprises of precious and semiprecious gemstones. The marble inside has engravings of fruits and flowers. The ceilings are built like archways.
Muslim tradition does not allow for much decoration on the graves; hence the graves of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal are quite plain. They are kept in an inside chamber.
The gardens have walkways and a reflective pool which has running fountains in it. The greenery includes flowers like roses and daffodils and also encompasses many fruit trees.
The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world and attracts more than 8 million tourists per year. In order to avoid overcrowding, a visitor is given a ticket that is good for only three hours. If any person is found to have exceeded this time limit, they are fined.
The tomb of the Taj Mahal has been turning into a yellowish-brown colour due to pollution and acid rain. Hence, the government has taken out certain initiatives in this respect.
One of them is that no cars or other fossil fuel-run vehicles are allowed within a 500 metre radius of the monument. Visitors have to park their cars and walk to reach the monument or avail the facilities of the electric bus.
After visiting every corner of the Taj Mahal, I finally breathed a sigh of relief and was awestruck by its beauty. My family and I thanked the guide for giving us such careful insights and went back to our hotel.
I still remember that trip as if it were only yesterday when I was standing on shiny and clean marble barefoot.