And finally for me the Jewel in the Crown of India – The Taj Mahal. The most stunningly
beautiful monument I have ever seen. Tears filled my eyes. I had wanted to visit for so many years and wasn't sure if I ever would, so stood here looking at it I could scarcely believe I was really there.
In 1631 Shah Jahan was grief stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child. In her dying breath Mumtaz urged Shah Jahan to build a mausoleum for her that the world had never seen before. Shah Jahan granted his wife’s wish and in 1632 construction of the Taj Mahal began. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648. The surrounding buildings and garden were completed five years later.
Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:
Should the guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs,
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator's glory
Many people believe it to be the most perfectly proportioned building ever constructed; at
first glance it appears to be simply white marble, but closer inspection reveals that the surface
is inlaid with a profusion of semi-precious stones which form stylised flowers and bowers.
The tombs of Shah Jahan & Mumtaz Mahal are inside, but photography is banned.
As the light faded the colours changed.
Words fail to do it justice, only by visiting can you appreciate its exquisite beauty.
It just had to be done!