Taj Mahal: The Symbol Of Love

“… Only let this one teardrop, this Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and ever.” Rabindranath Tagore

The best time to immerse in the beauty of the Taj Mahal is at dawn. Hand in hand, we walked towards its huge gate. The air was fresh, the birds were chirping, and the morning so tranquil. It took us just five minutes from the hotel to the main gate, on foot. There were only a handful of tourists around. Hubby paid for our tickets: Rs 20 for Indian nationals and Rs 750 for foreigners; Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals are required to submit a photocopy of their passports.

Right after the security check …

The Main Gate

“It is well to pause before entering, and admire the proportions and perfect taste of the decoration of this gateway; fore afterwards one has no eyes for anything but the Taj itself.” David Carroll

Arabic Calligraphy

Just at this point, I had already taken a dozen photographs.

My own photograph of the Taj Mahal; the first one taken.

I have seen hundreds of photos, but nothing can ever prepare you for the real thing. It took my breath away. We were among the first batch of tourists that day, so I was lucky to take this photo with nobody in sight. Everyone looked at the Taj in awe; there was silence. I have already taken a dozen more photos at this point.

Taj Mahal is certainly one of those places where you can’t stop taking photographs. You just don’t want to miss anything, not even a heart beat.

The rising sun casting a subtle pinkish glow on the white marble.

Looking back at the main gate.

A closer look.

The 93-feet high entrance into the mausoleum.

An inscription from the Qur’an says:

(It will be said to the pious): O (you) the one in
(complete) rest and satisfaction!
Come back to your Lord, — well-pleased (yourself)
and well-pleasing unto him!
Enter you, then, among My honored slaves,
And enter you My Paradise!

– The Holy Qur’an, Surah Al-Fajr: 89:27-30


Wore these over our shoes to protect the marble from scratches.

The Yamuna River, right behind the Taj Mahal. See that blurry image at the end of the river? That’s Agra Fort.

The Guest House

Just outside the guest house

Pollution Index Monitor

The Masjid

Hubby exploring the masjid

Prayers are still being offered here, daily.

The Garden

They have adopted the old ways of maintaining the grass, to prevent pollution.

My favorite photo of the Taj Mahal

A glowing Taj Mahal model at a souvenir store.

One last look at the Taj before we left the hotel.

This trip had been the most memorable in my entire life, and will always be. This was my husband’s gift to me, knowing how much I had wanted to see this monument. He made sure I was comfortable and safe during the entire trip, and made great efforts to make sure we had a great time. He never once checked his mails during the trip, and had deliberately put away his phone in one of the suitcases. He made sure it was just us.


Travel Date: April 8 ’08

24 comments

  1. Salaam sis

    Wow what stunning pics…sounds like you had an amazing journey together mashaAllah.

    It appears to be super clean, is that true?

    Duas

  2. Taj Mahal is such an architectural marvel that anyone can take perfect photos effortlessly.

    And yes, they have maintained it pretty well. The place is very clean.

  3. Beautifully captured details of the Taj. One wonders how it would’ve looked during the mughal era.

    I have often wondered when visiting historic/ancient architectural buildings, how interesting it would be if we could ‘see’ & ‘hear’ what those walls haven witnessed through history.

    When i visited the 4th century Byzantian Hagia Sophia in Turkey, i would actually be tempted to stand close to the stone walls, place my palms against its surface, close my eyes & try to listen to the sounds that it must have absorbed through the centuries!
    I had read that “Sound lasts forever, but is lost in the buzz of existence itself; hidden from our perception but somehow leaving a permanent imprint in reality for eternity!!!”

    I didn’t do it though…..for fear of being seen as a weird tourist!

  4. Hehe, I can so relate to what you’re trying to say; I had done that in all the historic sites that we’ve visited in India: ran my fingers along the walls and imagined I was in that era. It was so cool!

  5. Wow on the pictures! You have made me want to do a major revision on my travel plans to see the Taj Mahal.

  6. If only Zubair would like to go to India… i would sooo go to Taj Mahal!

    Anyways, i had the same encounter at the gate too. Only i couldnt speak Urdu so had to pay more ๐Ÿ™

    How did you manage to snap pic of that… squirrel? Chipmunk? SO CUTE!!!

  7. Definitely learn a few sentences of Urdu, boht kaam aayega in Pakistan and India ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s a chipmunk. They are so used to having tourists around, taking their photos, that they seemed to not care anymore. If you spot one, point your camera at it, and it will stop in its tracks to have a snap taken!

  8. Simply Awesome and Marvellous pics.It takes my breath away everytime I see it in print.In person I’ll be estounded beyond words!MashaAllah!

    Thank you so much for bringing a wonder of the world and sharing your journey with us! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Which was the hotel you stayed at first time just a few minutes walk from the Taj and how was it?…i like the idea of just walking to the Taj maybe at dawn…and also at sunset if possible…
    wonderful images of the Taj!…thank you, we will be there in early September and can’t wait!!!

  10. Amazing post..Taj Mahal is one place I dream of visiting Insha Allah and this post, and the pictures especially gave me that feeling of actually being there…<3

  11. Taj Mahal is on our bucket list and we’re visiting soon! Thanks for sharing this Nadia.
    I’ll be following your blog for great tips and travel stories. Keep inspiring us with your lovely photos and articles ๐Ÿ™‚

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