The True Love Story of the Taj Mahal
One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World was created as a product of a love story. They say there was a prince who fell madly in love with a young woman. After marrying her, they lived happily for 19 years until she died. On her deathbed, he promised her that he would build a grave for her, he would visit her on their anniversary and he would also remarry. Sadly, the first thing he promised ruined him, because with the mausoleum’s construction he lost his wealth and his throne.
This love story between prince Shah Jahan and his wife Muntaz Majal culminated with the construction of the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra, India. But the characters behind this monument are not the only things that are fascinating; the story of its construction itself is also quite remarkable.
The work that lasted 23 years was elaborated with marble that needed to be brought from another region 300km away from Agra, and in order to do so they used elephants as beasts of burden. It demanded the effort of 20,000 construction workers, and it’s said that the king ordered the craftsmen’s eyes to be gouged out and their hands to be cut off so that no one would ever be able to build anything similar.
Architecture of the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, located near the Yamuna River, combines Persian, Indian and Islamic architectural styles and it reflects a harmonic use of marble. At the same time, it has a central dome (amrud) that is visible from all around the 7 acres of garden –known as the Moonlight Garden– opposite the Taj.
Tips to Visit the Taj Mahal
When you visit this landmark, DINKtravelers recommends arriving there as early as possible in order to avoid long lines at the ticket office as well as crowds in the interior. Security is very strict, so don’t carry any food in your backpack and wear thick socks because they’ll ask you to take your shoes off if you want to enter the mosque.
Try to stay there until sunset, so that you see the red hues of sunrays illuminating the marble all around the building. We guarantee that you’ll have lovely framings to create amazing photos.
On the other hand, take into account that it’s a religious facility, so on Fridays, from 12:00–14:00 it’s only open for the people who go to pray.
Visiting it takes around two hours or perhaps a bit longer if you hire one of the locals whom you’ll find at the entrance offering to give you a guided tour. Throughout your visit, don’t be surprised if there are people taking pictures of you because, in the end, if you like the images, you’ll be able to buy them.
You’ll spot people dropping coins on the ground; curiously it’s the locals who do that hoping the tourists will mimic them so that, at the end of the day, they can pick up the money the foreigners left.