A visit to a historical place is a thrilling experience. One learns many new things. One enhances one’s knowledge. It is almost a unique experience. One meets many new people, one’s horizon of learning increases. What a pleasure! What a joy!
I had a long-standing desire of visiting the Taj. The Taj is a superb monument of the world. Luckily it is in our country, It is at Agra. Last Sunday I had a chance to visit the Taj. I went there with my father. We (father and son) got two berths reserved by the Taj Express. We reached Agra Railway station in the forenoon. We hired a tonga and reached the dream building face to face. I was simply bewitched (enthralled). It is a dream in marble. It is said that the Great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got it built in the year 1653. More than twenty thousand labourers and masons worked on it day and night. It was completed after labour of twenty years. Money was spent like water in its construction. Ustad Isa was the chief architect under whose guidance this immortal monument saw the light of the day. I saw it again and again, but I still feel the yearning of seeing it again.
We stayed in a good hotel so that to get a chance to see it on a moonlit night. It is said, “The pleasure of witnessing it in such a night is hundredfold”. It was a full-moon night. We again took a tonga. While I was still in the tonga I began picturing to myself the immaculate (pure) beauty of the Taj. The scene of the place is beyond description. I do not find appropriate words to express it. The white marble of the building looked ‘bathed’ in full-moon light. The fountains, playing in front of it in the grassy lawns, seemed to be a phenomenon of the other world. I at once concluded in my mind that the Taj was a work of angels and not of human hands. Some heavenly figures have accomplished this unique feat. It is a wonder of wonders. It is a building par excellence.
Its beautiful structure as described in the History books is really beyond description. There is a famous anecdote with regard to the immortality of the Taj. An English lady of high society visited the Taj in the company of her husband. The husband who was a top officer asked her of her opinion about the building. The lady said with a deep sigh. “If you promise to build a building like this over my grave, I am ready to be buried alive just now.” The husband was speechless. He had got the desired answer to his question. Such is the marvel of the Taj.
The Taj stands on the bank of the river Yamuna. The total atmosphere is calm, quiet and serene. It is far away from the din and noise of the city. Its charm is captivating, from which one becomes irresistible. One does not wish to return. One wishes to live there till eternity. Emperor Shah Jahan got it built for his beloved Queen Mumtaz Mahal, whom he loved heart and soul. It is a monument of their never-ending love for each other. Now the two lie buried in the basement of the main building. It was embellished (beautified) with precious stones. The English got them removed and pocketed them. An example of insatiable greed. During his imprisonment between 1658-66, Shah Jahan remained in the Mussaman Buraz, a building in the Agra Fort, which is very close to the Taj. He shed tears as and when he looked towards the grave of his queen, a fond remembrance, a sad picture of the end of the true lovers. Millions have seen it and many millions will witness it, but in no way the beauty of the Taj ever diminishes. It is still fresh in my mind and the memory will come to an end with my last breath.