"On tomorrow's visit, if you have any gum in your mouth, you'll have to remove it" the guide said. That request seems a bit personal but it's time for the real thing! A mausoleum that people throng to from all over the world. Even though Indians don’t, interestingly enough, others are moved by the sheer anticipation of the Taj Mahal. Aside from the love story, there are the usual myths of murdering architects and craftsmen after construction, a black mausoleum, and decisions to dismantle from time to time throughout its 400 year history. In some ways there is more intrigue about its intrigue than by its physical presence.
After all, it was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage site decades ago, the finest of Mughal architecture, combining Indian, Ottoman Turkish and Persian architectural styles. Prior to this period Mughal buildings were constructed of red sandstone, see
Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid with semi precious stones. This is what results when the emperor grieves the loss of his third wife during the period of the empire’s greatest prosperity.
It is a pretty thing, all dressed up in light, luminescent at night; one can visit for 5 evenings around the full moon. A tribute. Pure and iridescent. Sentimental and monumental. And we all enjoy a love story. Back to the gum chewing and litter, that’s how they keep it pretty. The grounds are immaculate considering thousands of daily visitors, so to keep the experience emotional and personal (despite the crowds), no gum chewing.
For more on Taj Mahal and India, see also: