It was a long awaited desire of our family to visit Agra and our desire was fulfilled and became a reality when my block LTC was sanctioned. We were very happy and made all necessary arrangements for the journey to Agra and other worth seeing places tagged with that.
We got down at Tundla station in the evening by Kalika mail. From there we reserved a taxi and reached Agra. We stayed in hotel in the heart of the city wherefrom we could go to any worth seeing places comfortably with minimal fare, and could do shopping in leisure.
That evening we made a round of the city on foot and after taking dinner in Punjabi Dhaba, preferably Tandoori Roti and Tadka. Our dinner was really very tasteful in as much it was hot as well, we wanted, we took roti one by one. We took one plate palak – paneer and one plate mixed vegetables. My wife took curd also.
We came back to our hotel late at night and went to bed early as we were totally exhausted.
The next morning we planned properly to visit “The Taj Mahal” of Agra. We hired an auto and reached there by 9 in the morning. We came in front of the main Gate. We stood just below it for a few minutes and enjoyed the sheer view of the Taj Mahal. Amazing! Superb! Unique! We didn’t have word stock to describe its beauty.
I saluted all who had given their head and heart to build it so beautifully with excellence.
All of us had a bird’s eye view of the grand mausoleum made up of exclusive white marbles brought from Makrana. Rajasthan (India). Slowly and slowly in curiosity we stepped in to the premiere premises of the grand building of the rarest of its kind.
This wonderful mausoleum was built by the Moghul emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved third begum(Wife) Mumtaj Mahal in the year 1632. The Taj Mahal is situated on the southern bank of the “ Yamuna River.”
As I heard the Taj Mahal is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world. The mausoleum is widely known as one of the world’s most wonderful structures. It is a unique symbol of India’s rich history of ancient time of the Moghul Dynasty.
The Taj Mahal symbolizes a perfect blend of combination of different culture and tradition of Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish as well as that of Indian architectural styles.
Its construction was started in the year of 1932 under the supervision of the then chief architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. The responsibility of its construction was entrusted wholly, solely and exclusively to a board of experienced and eminent architects of that period of time.
Roughly in order to remember the facts and figures of important data it is said that it took about 20 years ( though it is 22 years ) to complete it , about 20000 workmen of different categories – well experienced in their working ability and skill. The total expenditure incurred in its construction is about 20 lac rupees and as such we can say it was completed in 20 years by 20000 workmen for rupees 20 lac only.
The building portion was completed in 1648 but its other adjacent parts of other buildings and the gardens were finished after five years later.
It is said that Shah Jahan loved his third begum (wife) Mumtaj Mahal so immensely from the core of his heart that he made up his mind and planned heartedly to build the world famous monument in her memory and he gave his head and heart in constructing the Taj Mahal after she left for heavenly abode.
It was also said that the emperor Shah Jahan was inspired by his beloved begum Mumtaj Mahal to construct such an incomparable building in her memory after her death that it could be a sort of message to the whole world actually what his or her love was towards each other.
In fact it is recognised a marvellous symbol of cordial love and affection of human beings.
John Keats quotes: “Beauty is truth , truth is beauty,- that is all Ye know on earth all Ye need to know.”
Aysha Taryam says: “ The world believes it was built by love but recording Shah Jahan one word on the Taj, one could say it was grief that built the Taj Mahal or it was sorrow that it saw it through sixteen years till completion.
Ivan Panin says: “For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it, for every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it, for every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.”
Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore quotes: “ You know Shah Jahan, life and youth, wealth and glory, they all drift away in the current of time. You strove therefore, to perpetuate only the sorrow of your heart? Let the splendor of diamond, pearl and ruby vanish? Only let this one teardrop, this Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and ever.”
Durga Prasad (Author of this article) says in one sentence on Taj Mahal:
“ ताज! तुझपर क्या लिखूँ !”
(Taj, What to write on you!)
The Taj Mahal as I noticed and found is like a tomb divided into two major parts:
1. The Exterior One (The Upper Part): It is just above the surface of the ground/land on which the Taj Mahal has been constructed.
The moment anyone enters its complex , the Taj Mahal appears before one’s eyes.
2. The Exterior one (The lower Part): It is just beneath the ground floor of the Taj Mahal. One cannot see it before one’s eyes. One has to go down inside where twin tombs of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaj Mahal were lying side by side. In fact these are the real tombs of the emperor and the empress.
Here inside as soon as we approached the twin tombs, we felt the souls of both wife and husband quite alive.
So much peace of mind, so much harmony we realized there around these immortal tombs that we cannot express in words.
We made a round and wished the couple should rest in peace together.
We came up with the memory of their eternal love and affection towards each other.
The exterior parts of the Taj Mahal were so beautifully decorated with glowing paints, precious stones inlays and artistic carvings that none can stop eyes watching them for minutes together.
Throughout the whole complex the texts and passages of the “Quran” were used as one of the most beautiful and decorative elements.
On the lower wall of the tombs there are white marble dados that have been sculpted with realistic bas relief depictions flowers, vines and fruits.
As the Muslim tradition doesn’t allow decoration of graves the bodies of Mumtaj Mahal and Shah Jahan were put and placed in a relatively plain crypt beneath the inner chamber with their faces turned rights and towards Mecca, the most religious place of the Muslim.
Ninety nine names of Allah (God) are found as calligraphic instructions on the sides of the real tombs of Mumtaj Mahal in the crypt including calligraphic inscription that reads as:
“O Noble, O Magnificent, O Majestic, O Unique, O Eternal, O Glorious.”
The tomb of Shah Jahan bears a calligraphic instruction that reads:
“He travelled from this world to the banquet – hall of eternity on the night of the month of Rajab in the year 1076 Hijri.”
I along with my family came out of the place of eternal peace and came to the garden to take rest for an hour or so. The garden around a large area within the complex is set in 980 square feet. The garden is known as “Charbagh” or “Mughal Garden.”
The garden was raised pathways that divide into 16 sunken flower beds – flowers include roses of different color and breed. The daffodils and fruit trees are also surrounded the whole of the garden which add to its beauty. Beautiful lawns with green grass like velvet in and around the garden soothed our eyes like anything. Our fatigue gone after rest and enjoying beauty all around inside the complex. Proper sitting arrangement was also there in the garden.
At the Great Gate, we stood up altogether and watched its sheer beauty from a distant place – what we watched with the eyes widely open consistently is its pleasure beyond our imagination.
The last but not the least we came across in our life is the calligraphy on this Great Gate of the Taj Mahal which reads:
“O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord of Peace with him, and he at peace withYou.”
We left but with … ?
Writer: Durga Prasad.
Bich Bazar, GT Road, Govindpur, Dhanbad(Jharkhand)
Date: 7th . March 2015, Time: 8 PM