It is said that the Taj is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. The Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. On my way to Agra, I passed many businesses where white marble is sold, and many trucks hauling huge chunks of marble on the back of their flatbeds. It was amazing to see the potential transformation of this raw material in such a stunning architectural masterpiece. Indeed, the sight of this monument is beyond adequate description.
I loved the excitement of entering the monument park, where I could not even get a peak at the great building until I entered through an enormous gate. (These two photos are from 7is7.com) This main gate is said "to be like a veil to a woman’s face which should be lifted delicately, gently and without haste on the wedding night. In Indian tradition the veil is lifted gently to reveal the beauty of the bride." As one stands inside the main gate of Taj, your eyes are directed to an arch that frames the Taj.
The Taj Mahal was built as a tribute to a beloved wife and as a monument for enduring love. I took my time at the Taj, because I sensed that it would reveal its beautiful subtleties if I was not in a hurry, and indeed, this was true. The dome is made of glittering white marble with perfect angles from every position. Because it is set against the plain across the river, the background becomes a mosaic of colors that, through their reflection, change the view of the Taj. The colors change at different hours of the day and during different seasons. I felt fortunate to see it both in the morning, with a pinkish glow, and as the evening sunset, changing from its color from a milky white to a golden glow. It is like a jewel; the Taj sparkles in moonlight when the semi-precious stones inlaid into the white marble on the main mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. On a foggy morning, the Taj seems to be suspended midair when viewed from across the Jamuna River. These changes, they say, depict the different moods of woman.
Walking around the Taj I noticed a freshness in the air, as a delicate breeze blew from around its corners. The breeze lifted the scarves and saris of the women there, creating this beautiful and delicate dance. In the presence of the Taj Mahal, you walk in beauty. Look at these random snapshots of women visiting the Taj the day I was there, reveling in this, and their own beauty.