So what’s the story with the Taj Mahal?
Well it’s an undisputedly fantastic work of art, one of the world’s seven wonders and perhaps the selfie capital of India, however….
The widely accepted story of why the Taj Mahal was built, is based on a world famous love story about the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (who seemingly did no wrong) he had many wives but one was his absolute favourite, Mumtaz Mahal, the wife who died giving birth to their fourteenth child together, leaving him distraught.
The Taj Mahal was built as a tribute to Mumtaz Mahal, and took around 11 years to complete.
The gardens and buildings surrounding the Taj were completed a further five years after that, and there had been plans to build another palace across the river.
There are rumours that Shah Jahan had the hands of all the builders amputated to ensure there would never be another palace like it.
The main attraction lies inside the Taj, the replica tombs of Shah Jahan and his wife – the real tombs are believed to be buried beneath the palace.
We were not permitted to take pictures inside – where the replica tombs lay.
Once you leave the garden areas below, shoes have to be removed or covered with some shoe covers – available to buy for a small price.
Can you handle the truth?
Maybe not – since it seems as though there are other theories about the ‘real’ Taj Mahal story.
On my flight back to the UK I sat next to someone (who happened to be Indian), he told me that the official story is not the true story…and that the ‘real’ story is a lot more eyebrow raising, to say the least.
I’ve also heard theories that Shah Jahan didn’t treat his other wives well, and that the Taj Mahal was originally an ancient Hindu temple, holding clues and tell-tales signs around the structure that give it away, to this day.
While our guide told us the ‘official story’, one of the other travellers in the group was actually in tears, she was so moved by the sad story…..I must admit, it did pull at the heart strings a bit.
I doubt there’s ever a quiet day at the Taj (apart from Friday when its closed to the public).
I’ve been asked a few times, whether I went to the spot where Princess Diana took her famous photo – and the answer is no.
You could barely see the area due to the amount of people swarming it…and I was much more interested in the building itself.
There were also lots of Indian squirrels, I say “Indian’ because I’ve never seen squirrels like these before – they looked more like mini chipmunks.
Toward the end of the day, birds of prey were circling the giant dome on the Taj Mahal, growing in number as if they were expecting some prey below.
So did it live up to the hype?
Yes – definitely.
From a distance I felt as though I was looking at a picture, like the one below – typical shots….but what was most impressive was standing up close against it’s towering walls and arches, giving me a feel for the size and stature of the palace, and feeling like a dwarf.
There was the option of an additional sunrise Taj Mahal visit – which nobody volunteered for.
If you know anything about the fog and mist in India, you’ll understand why…..
Each morning and on some evenings we’d get a thick cloud of low lying fog/mist and the weather forecast wasn’t expecting this to change.
The likelihood was that we wouldn’t be able to see a thing at the Taj when we got there, so it didn’t seem worth the cold early rise, and journey there and back.
We’d had a perfect day already, as per the above, so the Taj Mahal was firmly ticked off my list.
34 thoughts on “A Monument of Love? The Taj Mahal”
I asked a fellow employee of mine, who was going on vacation to India, to bring me a small stone from her travel. She brought me back a piece of stone from the Taj Mahal– from a broken area that was being repaired. It now rests with one of my house plants. Many thanx for sharing your wonderful pics, Cherryl.
Wow, that’s quite a souvenir, I doubt anyone could top that – much better than my fridge magnet lol 😊
Great photos and nice coverage of the monument.
I too am not sure how I feel about the love story attached to it.
I wrote something about my trip to the Taj Mahal in my blog as well. You may find it interesting.
Did you also visit Fatehpur Sikri?
Thanks Lokesh, yes Fatehpur Sikri was one of the stops we made – there are so many monuments, palaces, temples etc… India has an incredible amount of interesting history and architecture, that just screams out at you wherever you look😊🕌 I read your Taj post, and wish I’d heard about “…as you move forward inside the entrance, the Taj Mahal appears to move further away from you…” to put it to the test lol, maybe it’s one of those optical illusions 😊
Thank you Tamara 😊
Loved there wish I was there now
it’s impressive, I’d love to visit it
I hope to get to visit too Tanja 🤗
I visited the Taj Mahal back in 1986 when the crowds weren’t so bad, I am guessing it was very busy? I’ve heard similar stories about the monument. I recall brining back a miniature version of the Taj Mahal which lit up. Then someone came over and commented that seeing it was a tomb, not a sign of good luck.
I watched a programme once which explored the construction and spoke of its accurate mathematical symmetry. Legend has it he wanted to build an exact replica across the river, but all in black.
1986 – I wonder if much has changed around it since then. Yes – it was very busy, but not as busy but not unbearably, (I dread to think what its like in high season) ….and what a contrast that would have been – a black Taj! 😊
After that comment, did you keep your miniature Taj Mahal? 🤨
We didn’t. My mum insisted on doing away with it. Beautiful architecture nonetheless
Probably best not to tempt fate, lol 😉but yes it’s incredibly beautiful.
The official story is probably too good to be true… 🙂
Thanks for the post.
A grand tour of this majestic palace, Cherryl. Thanks for sharing the true story, I’ve wondered the story that has been passing on.
Thanks for the virtual tour. Beautiful photos! Cute photos of you in the Shawar chemis too!
Lol – thank you!! 😊I’m even more mesmerised by the Taj now that I’m back home – after reading a bit more about it…seems like there’s a fair bit if mystery to it ✨ Glad you enjoyed the tour 🕌
Tangie T. Woods
Cherryl, I am nominating you for the Mystery Blogger Award; details forthcoming in my next blog
Oh wow, thank you very much Tangie – that’s a huge compliment!!! 🤗
Tangie T. Woods
You are welcome and deserving
Thank you 🤗
No photography!!! The guide warned us about this. He said ‘You will see local people taking photographs … but they don’t mind getting a whack from the policeman’s lathi. Plenty of policemen, plenty of photographers … but we saw no whacking, although offenders did get severely whistled at!
A whack!!!! Sounds like something from a carry-on film….😆whistling is far more acceptable lol.
Wonderful clicks! Both the stories are there in the market. LOL. Glad you made it to Taj Mahal as this and all other monuments are closing from today!
Thank you, I heard about the closures – I’m so grateful I got to visit just in time. It’s very sad what’s happening at the moment – stay safe 🙏🔆
Beautiful photos Cherryl. It truly is a magnificent structure. I have been to Taj many times. It is the most beautiful- very ethereal on full moon night in October- November 💕
I’d never even wondered about a night time view 🌌but since coming home I’ve stumbled across companies offering night time visits – must be lovely when the sky is full of stars!!
…..and yes, I imagine a full moon against the Taj would probably feel very mystical/like a fantasy…..💫
Thanks again for reading Ashok 😊
My pleasure Cherryl. God willing you would see the Taj again in full moon 🌕
That would be pretty special ✨
I. J. Khanewala
Those battery operated carts were not there when I last went. Interesting development,
….maybe another India trip? 🔆
We could have walked, but it was nice to skip the crowd on the way up 😊
So many beautiful photos…glad you enjoyed it, and so truly a sad story.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you – the sad story really created a tone during the visit, unlike any of the other monuments we saw 🕌