And I have proof:
Once Upon a December Morning, Sameer and I rolled out of our hotel bed, called for a tuktuk, and made our way to the Taj Mahal.
I kind of feel like this one needs no introduction.
But just in case I’m wrong, the Taj is a giant mausoleum built by Shah Jahan, fifth of the Mughal emperors, for his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal.
It took 12 years to finish the building itself (as indicated also- according to our guide- by the 12 small turrets on top of the gates), and a further 5 years to finish the gardens.
It’s also estimated to have cost the modern equivalent of 300 million pounds or so. Which on one hand actually seems quite reasonable when you see the structure in real life, but on the other hand does lend some support to Aurangzeb’s decision to usurp and imprison his forefather when (allegedly) Shah got all interested in building a second much pricier black Taj for his own final rest.
In the end, he just had to go in the Taj with his wife.
If you’ve ever been through the experience of having a close friend or significant other recommend their favourite TV show to you, and then proceed to watch you watch it, I can say that the feeling of going with your boyfriend to see the Taj is pretty similar.
I hope I was sufficiently awed enough. I mean, it is legitimately Awesome.
At all scales.
We spent a couple of hours looking at the beauty from different angles, and doing interesting poses (and even videos!) with our guide. He wasn’t completely great with the facts- and ended up leaving us quite early, while other guides continued on guiding- but he was pretty good and moving us into centre frame (as well as moving others out!).
We had chosen the ‘early morning option’ because it was supposed to be less crowded- a often repeated ‘fact’ which I think no longer holds up given its popularity.
But it also allowed us to watch the sun slowly splutter into view over the white marble.
‘Sameer, will you build me a nice Taj?’
‘No Tegan, you have not done anything to earn a Taj’
21st December, 2024