Thursday, November 25, 2010

Taj Mahal: A Pilgrimage Like No Other

No visit to the mystical land of India is ever complete without a tour to the Taj Mahal. Unquestionably the most extravagant and beautiful mausoleum in the world, the Taj Mahal, also called The Taj, was erected by the 5th Mughal emperor of India, Shah Jahan. It was built as a tribute to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who is renowned for her pure beauty.

Here at Taj Mahal, the remains of the emperor are laid to rest right beside his favorite spouse who died after giving birth to their 14th child.

Surrounded by the gray haze of the populous Agra, this marble structure is glorious and quite exceptional. In stark daytime, it sits like a lonely queen on its throne as its mysteriously stunning facade reflects on the clear pool. At sunset, it turns into a purplish wonder, as if dying with the fading light. Then it bursts into beauty once more with the clear light of the full moon, the wide violet sky as its royal cloak and the thousand stars as its celestial crown.

The Taj Mahal is for the weary traveler, for those who seek renewed inspiration from the boredom of everyday living. Stepping inside its hallowed grounds is like stepping back in time, of a time when a deposed king, heartbroken and lonely, spent his last days gazing at the beautiful structure that served as the memory of his favorite wife. There are intricate carvings on the walls and ancient calligraphy that reflects strict precision. It is reminiscent of a past when death commands luxury and beauty, of fine inlaid stones and immaculate marble walls.

The Taj has withstood time and elements, preserving history and architectural symmetry in one sweeping grandeur. Countless people have dreamed of treading on its grounds and feasting on its stirring sight. The building is a mystery, exuding beauty and grief, celebration and sadness, all in one breath.

The Taj Mahal is for the romantic at soul; extravagant...beautiful...built in the memory of love. Walking through its long gardens and along the pool that magnifies the splendor of the marble mausoleum, there is the unmistakable sense of other-worldliness, a far cry from the din and flurry of city life. For the awed tourist, it seems that time has remained suspended for a moment, knowing that such a long journey has proved worthwhile and that it will take a some time before one can repeat it.

There is also a place for rest and relaxation for the fatigued but inspired travelers. The Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra is the only first-class hotel that has a view of the Taj. If you want luxury coupled with a mere 600 meter view of the mausoleum right at your own bedroom, then staying at this hotel will satisfy your most luxurious fantasies. There is nothing more satisfying than a soft silken bed and a warm bath tub after a day of touring the white marbled wonder. Here you can watch the Taj Mahal at different times of the day. You can witness how the sunrise and the sunset reinforce its usual beauty. The prices are quite above average, but surely it will make every moment of your travel memorable.

The Taj Mahal is a living testament of undying love. A tour to this wonder is ideal for honeymooners, couples, history buffs, and for those who love art in one of its purest, oldest forms. This experience is for anyone who recognizes the glory brought about by years of dedicated work; because The Taj was built in a span of twenty-two years and fashioned by twenty-thousand masons, carvers and calligraphers. Moreover, it was completed with the help of thousands of elephants.

Indeed, a pilgrimage such as this is a pilgrimage like no other. You will be bringing with you a piece of history, idealism, art and symmetry. In addition to these, you'll also bring along with you the proof that love, no matter how underrated it is in our time, can fuel the rise of one of the loveliest and grandest edifices that man ever built.

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