The Taj Mahal… a beauty unlike any other i’ve seen before.
To say that it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World is an understatement!
History of Taj Mahal
The story behind this ivory magnificence is equally captivating.
Emperor Shah Jahan had built the mausoleum in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to his child. Though he had many other wives, Mumtaz was his favourite and he vowed never to remarry again after her death.
The monument took a staggering 22 years to build and 22,000 workers to construct!
Today, the Taj Mahal stands in the heart of India as a symbol of eternal love.
Chasing Sunrise at the Taj Mahal
The allure of the Taj lies in its ever-changing hues.
It is pearly grey and pale pink at sunrise, dazzling white at high noon, and orange bronze when the sun sets.
We were so mesmerized by its charm we went back 3 times to catch it in all its shades!
Our first glimpse of the Taj was at sunset from across the Yamuna river at the Moon Garden.
Though it was a misty faraway view, we had a pleasant time sitting on the benches, listening to our tour guide tell us its story.
It was said that Shah Jahan wanted to build a black equivalent of the Taj Mahal right at the Moon Garden to house his own tomb, but this decision was over-ridden by the future ruling emperor!
The 2nd time we saw the Taj Mahal, it was in its full grandiosity right at the World Heritage site.
Unfortunately, we didn’t know better and arrived late morning, about 9ish. when hoards of tourists were starting to stream in.
As soon as we step foot into the site, we knew we had gone at the wrong timing. There were simply too. many. people!
Everyone was vying for that one spot to snag a perfectly symmetrical shot of the Taj Mahal. That would be right in front of the pool facing the Taj Mahal straight on.
Just look at how crowded that area was!
They say 3rd times’ a charm. The @lousycameraman didn’t get his perfect shot, so we decided to try again, this time we woke up at 5am in the morning to queue to get in as the gates only open at 6am.
Even then, there were already many people in the queue and it was a good 45 mins wait before we finally cleared the security. My boy was definitely making a 100m dash for that empty spot to get that prized shot.
And you know what? It was worth it… he got his shot!
The pinkish hues quickly faded into an orangey glow as the sun rose diagonally above the Taj Mahal.
- Tour Guide
- is not necessary.
- But with a tour guide you can skip the queue and get entrance faster than others. Those without a tour guide will have to join a queue to get in.
- Entrance Tickets
- We bought tickets at the ticketing booth which is a buggy ride away from the Eastern gate entrance where the queueing starts.
- Foreigners pay 750 rupees which includes a free bottle of water and shoe cover which must be worn when you enter the Taj.
- Security Check
- It’s advisable to bring as little as possible. Your wallet and phone will suffice.
- Phone charger, selfie-sticks, drones, camera tripods, food, cigarettes, lighters (just to name a few) are prohibited and will be have to be stored at a locker outside.
- There’s no dresscode! But do dress appropriately, ie keep your knees and shoulders covered.
It was kinda funny being constantly swarmed by locals wanting to take pictures with me.
I was shooting for my cover of “A Whole New World” and i guess they must’ve thought i was some star haha!
I left my heart in Taj Mahal, and definitely my face in a lot of their phone galleries. 😀