Taj: A Teardrop on the Cheek of Eternity
You could be at the Pyramids, the Great Wall, the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Opera House, but, Agra’s Taj Mahal is a sight worth beholding in one’s lifetime. Mark Twain once said, “The world is divided into two types of people, those who have seen Taj Mahal and those who have not”. Even the wildest imaginations will leave you underprepared for that breath-stealing moment once you cross its gates and this magnificent wonder of the world comes into focus.
For over 4 centuries, it has stood as a masterpiece of Mughal Architecture, and also as a symbol signifying the “Love Story” of Mumtaz Mahal and Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. This mesmerising monument, dedicated by Shah Jahan to the loving memory of Mumtaz Mahal took 22 years and 20,000 workers to build. The Emperor, who was later deposed by his son Aurangzeb and spent the rest of his life locked up in Agra Fort staring out at his creation, is buried under the Taj, next to his beloved wife.
The Emperor, Shah Jahan, himself seems to have said that the Taj made ‘the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes’, while poet Rabindranath Tagore described it as ‘a teardrop on the cheek of eternity’.