Living in Delhi and having not visited the Taj at Agra, we decided to see this one of the seven world wonders in a rather unusual season, in the hot summers of June.
As the journey of even a thousand miles start from a single step, we took that single step on the morning of 12th June 2011. And if the destinations is like the city of Taj, Agra or Taj itself, our effort of waking up in the early hours in morning and seems to have been more than compensated. A visit to Taj was in our mind for a very long time but every time due to our hectic schedules we could not make to the monument of love and romance. As it is said, love conquers all, we too find the magic of love started doing its spell on us in the evening of a hot summer day. And we decided to leave Delhi to salute the eternal love story that found a symbol in the form of Taj Mahal. The monument is marbled and the love story is marvelous.
It was sharp 4:30 in the morning when we left our residence in Delhi to for a 3 hrs leisurely drive to this former Mughal city of Agra. When majority of Delhi was still asleep we were cutting corners to reach to this darling destinations, which is highly thronged by tourists from different part of India and world. After crossing so many signals- some green, some yellow and stopping at red ones, we were finally on NH-2, the road that connects Delhi to Agra. Driving in the early morning is an amazing experience in itself and if your friends are accompanying you the whole driving experience becomes all the more exhilarating. Once we went down the NH-2 there were number of cars, SUV’s and Volvo’s on the road all seems to be heading towards this monument that still transcends an air or romance. When we were planning a trip to Agra we mugged up all the details like its accessibility and means to reach there. Our expert advised us that a train takes 2 hrs, a bus 5 hrs and yes there are flights with very low frequency. Finally we decided to travel in our own car and the task become very simple as all four of us were good drivers. After 3 and ½ hrs of driving this magnificent, larger than life monument zoomed into horizon. And we all shouted in Chorus: wow! It is Taj!
In few minutes we were at the east gate of Taj: passionate, impatient and overwhelmed; ticket in hand and waiting for our entry into the campus of this grand edifice. While we were in the queue the tales of its regality and splendor were abuzz among the fellow visitors. And we too were speechless as the whole experience was beyond description. There were numerous tourists braving the hot summers. Most of them were on the same day trip to Agra from Delhi. With our entry into the grand edifice of Taj we made entry to the list of people who have visited Taj. Our entry into this emblem of Shahjahan’s poetry in Marble stirred a whirlwind of emotions. All of us felt like we should have visited this masterpiece earlier and we are lucky enough that we live in vicinity of this architectural magnum opus from Mughals that attracts hordes of admirers.
To know everything about Taj in totality we hired the services of a government-approved guide. Our guide had every minute detail about the Taj on his fingertips. He was fluently narrating the tales of constriction of Taj and various historical facts and myths attached to it. He also told us his version of how the idea of Taj was conceived. He informed us comprehensively about the artworks and inlays on this white marbles structure.
As we made entry into this magnificent building of mughal era we saw a host of photographer clicking images of the tourists with Taj Mahal in perspective. With tall claims of having shot the pictures of celebrities these lensmen were showing their dexterity in photography. They also asked us to have our pictures clicked and after repeated refusals we finally gave in. We got our photographs clicked and in no time we were given the hard copy of our photographs. One of our team members who aspire to be a professional photographer shot some picture with his own camera, wh