Sunday, July 01, 2012

Wah Taj !

Many call emperor Shah Jahan a mad man. To have built such wonderous a monument like the Taj.  And I would agree.  Not only did he build such a monument of magnificence, for several years he has had families like mine, visiting this place in the dead heat of summer!

And still left shaking their heads with disbelief at the scale, splendour and the sheer magnificence of the place.  The fact that it is still standing after some 380 odd years ( and earrning money for the government and many others, is another aspect altogether). 

His love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal and her death (while bearing his 14th child) brought him to build this monument.  As far as I can recall, my history books didn’t talk of his post Mumtaz marriages. But apparently he did and was still a disappointed man. 

Bollywood, tollywood, kollywood and such other ‘woods’ have woven the mystique of love into countless songs . Poets have sighed over its splendour while crafting wily lines of love, longing and such else.  

Presidents of the world, some of them after signing arms deals with the government, have had photographs of themselves and their companions taken at the Taj. Striking poignant poses , sitting on whats come to be known as ‘Lady Di’s chair’ named after Princess Diana ( sitting alone) !

Our guide told us of Shah Jehans plans to build a replica of the Taj adjacent to the current one, in black marble. He told us as though the Mughal emperor had summoned him to his private chambers and whispered his desire in his ear.   

Going on to narrate a story of Aurangazebs cruelty and Shah Jehan’s forlorn lost last days.  It was happening in real time : melodrama spiking history big time in present continuous tense ! 

I digress. 

The Taj itself is a fantastic monument. We visited in blinding daylight. The moonlit Taj we were told was far more resplendent.  As an afterthought, it was mentioned, the fees for moonlit viewing were different

Obviously it’s a ‘must see’. It’s a place teeming with security and a global melting pot of people. All trudging in to see the’ monument of love’.  

Every visitor has lasting memories of this place. Every visit has left me with a memory or two. This one was when about half a dozen people at varying lengths in time, walked upto me, seeing the camera, the camera bag et al, and asked, ‘how much do you charge for a photograph’.

I seem to have arrived as a photographer. At the Taj ! :)




ashok said...

The scale and proportion makes every visitor feel overwhelmed...

Ugich Konitari said...

Danesh said...

Nice writeup! I relived my visit to the Taj through your post :)

Jeevan said...

Marvelous, pristine and purely bliss photos on the Taj! No one left in this world looking out for it and I wish I could be there sometime adorn in its shadow :)

Information is wealth! Thanks for sharing the facts unknown.

SG said...

Well, you have captured this milestones of history beautifully!

Vaish said...

Shah Jahan and his love!!
Can keep seeing Tajmahal for a long time..they should be gorgeous in moon light!

Insignia said...

I havent seen it yet. Would love to definitely; waiting for my time.

Taj saga also doesnt tell us the many wives he had before Mumtaz and after and the torture they had to undergo :-/

Neha said...

I have seen the Taj thrice so far :) And every time It leaves me amazed. When I had seen it for the first time, they were allowing to visit the tombs too. The last visit was in the year 2007, I don't know whether they allow to visit the tombs now.

4th visit will happen too in the month of November as I am going for some wedding there. No I am not mad about Taj, but I always happen to visit Delhi/Agra with people who have not seen the Taj. Thus they drag me there every time :)

Aleta said...

I have never seen this and would love to do so one day. Your post and pictures are beautiful. It looks like it should be a castle in the sky.

But I did giggle at a thought... when I read about the idea of another built in black marble, I thought, "If the second one was created, someone would nickname it Salt and Pepper."

Pearl said...


A second career, perhaps, then. As a tourist photographer! Best to save that for retirement, I think!


SSQuo said...

Well written! I heart the Taj, and it is just something to actually stand in front of the monument and take it in. It's surreal.

I didnt know that the bench is actually called the Lady Di bench! :) funny.

logic said...

Nice snaps and well written too :)