Throughout my life I have had the privilege of frequently traveling and visiting new countries. However, I had not yet had the pleasure of seeing any of the deemed “Seven Wonders of the World.” A week ago, I was finally able to change that when I took a trip to Agra and visited the Taj Mahal with my father.
Part of what made the visit so special was the story behind the Taj’s construction. I was surprised to learn that it was a love story. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the The Taj Mahal in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 giving birth to their 14th (!) child. Before dying she made him promise to erect an unrivaled monument to immortalize their love and consequently, 22 years and over 20,000 workers later, the most famous mausoleum in history was completed.
Seeing the Taj Mahal in person was simply breathtaking. The white marble is gorgeous and it’s incredible how it’s all still intact. It’s almost as if there has been a protective cover over the Taj for the past 360 years. The interior and exterior are both beautifully decorated with inlaid designs of flowers and inscriptions from the Qur’an. The scale and symmetry of the entire site is also incredible. I knew the Taj Mahal was big but I never imagined it to be THAT big. Similarly, from the photos I’d seen I hadn’t understood its perfect symmetry; the structure, the interiors, even the gardens are perfectly symmetrical! The only exception to this is the tomb of Shah Jahan, which was of course added posthumously, which is ironic because I also learned that he’d planned a perfect mirror of the Taj across the water made of black marble to serve as his own mausoleum before his son deposed and imprisoned him for depleting the treasury.
I’m both grateful and glad I was able to visit the Taj Mahal. If any of you are in India, it is a must see that will definitely blow you away. And to all the married men thinking of visiting- Not everyone can afford a 32 million rupee (in 1631) monument. Don’t let your wife get any ideas!