How far would you go to express your love and devotion to your lover?
One man immortalized his love by building a structure of sublime beauty, a symbol of his eternal love that inspired the world over.
Matt & I will be celebrating our 10th month soon, and true to our nomadic DNAs, we are spending our monthsary on the road. Our whirlwind romance has become stronger as months passed. Feeling a little mushy about our journey thus far and where we see our future to be, it reminded me about some of the most tragic love stories of all time and what the couples did to express their undying love, among them: Rose and Jack’s whirlwind romance in the Titanic, star crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet; and, somewhere close to home in Asia, the story of one man’s eternal love to his beloved wife who died while giving child birth.
The tragic love story
Once upon a time, there was an emperor named Shah Jahan who so loved his 3rd wife, Mumtaz Mahal and was grief stricken by her death upon giving birth to their child. In memory of her, he ordered construction of the Taj Mahal which began in 1632. The entire area took over 2 decades to complete, with thousands of laborers involved. (source: Wikipedia)
Another bucket list came true: Heart & mum at Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Apparently, Princess Diana sat on the same bench. I didn’t know this until my FB friends told me. It’s good to be connected with Princess D in some way 🙂
Regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, the Taj Mahal is highly revered and admired around the world for its symbol and delicate beauty. It was honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and very recently, regarded as New 7 Wonders of the World.
Like other beautiful structures in India, the attention to detail is uncanny. The huge, white domed marble mausoleum is built with such an elaborate and intricate detail, and encrusted with precious and semiprecious gemstones. At the hint of our guide, we touched the building finish to feel the gemstones encrusted on the walls. WOW, no wonder why they say it was very expensive, and it took decades to finish.
Intricate detail on the white stone marble. These are actually gemstones encrusted on the walls. WOW
I preferred the more cheeky photo (I couldn’t really do awesome jump shots; as my attempts only take me 1 inch higher off the ground. HAHA. The alternative: a cheeky peace sign! 😛
Visitors are given disposable shoe covers to prevent dirt and damage to the white marble stones
The Taj Mahal is guarded by red sandstone gates. Inside there’s a beautifully manicured garden and reflecting pool, which add to the overall beauty of this place. It’s best to view it either in sunrise or sundown. Mum and I went for the early morning sunrise and were happy to see the sunrise create a stunning glow over the Taj Mahal.
One of the red sandstone gates, standing tall above the beautifully manicured landscape inside the Taj Mahal complex
Our guide said that the emperor wanted to build another similar structure beside the Taj Mahal, but before he could do that, he was overthrown by his own son, who put him under house arrest. The son was apparently not happy with his father’s wishes and thought it was a waste of huge amount of money to build another Taj Mahal. When he died, Shah Jahan was buried next to his wife.
The land where the emperor planned to build another structure similar to Taj Mahal. Angered by his father’s plan, his son put him under house arrest to prevent him from “wasting” tons of money.
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. Agra was the final leg of our golden triangle tour in India, which started in New Delhi, followed by Jaipur. It look us about half day from Jaipur to get to Agra.
Was it worth it?
Absolutely. In my view, you definitely need to see it, at least once in your lifetime 🙂
Have you been to the Taj Mahal? Tell us what you think about it!