Visiting The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is without a doubt one of the world’s most recognisable buildings and because of this I wondered whether it would live up to my expectations when I finally got to visit it. I needn’t have worried; it was everything I imagined it would be, and even more.
The Taj Mahal is actually a mausoleum that was built by Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor, in memory of his third wife. In real life it was far larger than I ever thought it would be. It took my breath away when I first walked through Darwaza-i rauza, the main gateway, and saw it for the first time. The sheer size of the building, dedicated to one woman is mind-blowing and absolutely stunning.
One thing that surprised me about the Taj Mahal was the painstaking level of detail that has been put on the white marble exterior. There are passages from the Qur’an adoring the exterior in calligraphy. The size of the text actually enlarges proportionally as it reaches the top of the building and gives the illusion it is all the same size and to make it easy for visitors to read.
I was lucky enough to visit the Taj Mahal at sunset and I loved strolling around the grounds and watching the colour of the sky change as the sun disappeared signalling the end of another of my days in India. As the colour of the sky and the light changed, so did the colour of the Taj Mahal as the bright marble reflected the colours around it. It changed from being brilliant white to looking almost yellow and then orange as the sun sunk further below the horizon.
Something I wasn’t aware of was how beautiful the surroundings of the mausoleum are. The Taj Mahal is actually the name given to the whole 980 square foot complex which includes immaculate ornate gardens and a number of smaller buildings including a mosque.
The grounds are designed to be almost symmetrical, so there is a red sandstone mosque on one side of the Taj, and an identical building flanking the other side which is said to have been used as a guest house at the time.
There are also smaller buildings which house the tombs of Jahan’s other wives and even his favourite servant! These buildings are all constructed in red sandstone and are all beautiful, intricate and wonderful examples of Mughal tombs from this era.
The Taj Mahal took an incredible 21 years to complete and was finished in 1653. It’s absolutely incredible to think a building of this size, magnitude and level of intricacy was created so many hundreds of years ago and with none of the technology we have today. The Taj Mahal truly is one of the most unbelievably beautiful and impressive sites in the world and was definitely one of my favourite places in the whole of India.
I’m Emma, a twenty-something Scottish girl who’s obsessed with travel.
I’ve been to 38 countries so far and had some incredible adventures around the world.
My passion for travel and writing led me to create my person blog Emma’s Travel Tales.