Waah Taj! The Detox Trip I Longed For!

Wo eenth tha ya sangemarmar,
Tha to wo bas ek patthar.

Wo khaakh tha ya malmal,
Aakhir kyun hai tera mann itna chanchal?

Khoobsurti to teri aankhein mein hai,
Aakhir tu kis firaaq mein hai?
Iconic? Magnificent? Grandeur? Jaw-Dropping?
It’s Beautiful!
No, I wasn’t reading out thesaurus. Each time I have visited this place, I found myself lost of words to express my deep thoughts and mesmerization. I am talking about the TAJ MAHAL.
Before I start pouring my thoughts into the blog just a gentle reminder, if not a saying,
“PICTURES do no justice to this beautiful embodiment of beauty, this architectural bliss!”
Quite honestly, I am left completely awe-struck whenever i have been to visit this historic architectural heritage we Indians are blessed with. And, if we do, I can’t think of one.

The least that I could collect my thoughts and sum it up is to say that there is no mausoleum more monumental, no architecture more majestic, no manifesto of love more apparent that building a marble masterpiece for his favorite wife.
Not just traveling, but the love for my writing was another reason to re-visit this glorious beauty. After all this is Art. It’s history!
Built in Agra by Shah Jahan for his favorite wife – Mumtaz Mahal between 1631 and 1648 with numerous stories revolving around it – Taj Mahal is the 7th Wonder of the World.

Rumor mills that are on the overdrive says that Shah Jahan had ordered to get the hands of the workers chopped off so that there couldn’t be another Taj Mahal that could be built. Apparently, it took 22,000 workers, 1,000 elephants and a whooping 1CR INR, of those times in order to build the Taj Mahal. And ironically, Shah Jahan’s thirst and love for architecture did not satisfy yet, he wanted to build a Black Taj Mahal, opposite and on the other side of the river. However, this could not be executed.

Nevertheless, be it the rumors or the facts – Taj Mahal was, is, and will always be the standing marble beauty of all times. 

What Lead Me To Taj Mahal?

I had been traveling to a few places here and there, however, there was no consistency to my travel. A lot because I was being a lazy potato and a management fail. Basically I had turned out to be a fail at maintaining a work-life balance. I never accepted it out loud albeit people have a complete opposite story regarding my “happening” life and me.
I took a fifteen days off from my work went to my hometown – Lucknow. I had already culminated the plan to visit Agra, rather to be more precise visit Taj Mahal at the back of my sub-conscious mind.

It was another week and a pleasant weekend where I packed my bag and decided to make this trip a reality. This was not a deliberate attempt, not my stubbornness, but a simple act of my brain and heart combined to just let it go – and my conscious fetched the path to Taj as an answer to it. 

How Did I Reach?

Road Trip! Now, do I really have to explain? I guess not. There is an otherworldly love for road trips in me. I will choose it anytime and above any mode of travel.
Just the way I am still attracted by an airplane passing by in the sky, similar is my love for road trips – difficult to be described in words. 
From Lucknow it takes 4hours along with a small lunch break in the middle at the food courts, which has been opened at the Lucknow-Agra Expressway.

How Was My Ultimate Experience?

Upon reaching Agra, I had pre-booked my stay. The hotel was yet again booked from OYO Hotels and I had loved the place, it was similar to the pictures shown in the app. Also, there are certain steps that I follow before I book my hotels.

One thing that I didn’t know about the hotel was that from my room window I could see the Taj! Oh My God, this was so surreal. Taj from each and every angle gives you the essence of royalty and beauty.

After resting for a while, I got ready and left to visit the Taj Mahal. The distance from my hotel to the Taj wasn’t very long. It took me not more than 5 to 10 minutes to reach the destination.

From the parking stand – whether you go on your ow vehicle or via taxi, auto. You get a golf-cart-ish vehicle to drop you till the Taj Mahal Entrance. The ticket rates are 50 INR for the Taj Mahal, and additional 200 INR if you want to visit the inside of the mausoleum. I took the combined ticket worth 250 INR.

As and when you enter the area, there is a certain grandeur that leads you to unravel the historic heritage. The red stand stone architecture – the entrance gate and the small ones at the distance are things that are often missed and under-praised. Upon the main entrance  you will see photographers, people clicking pictures, selfies, getting clicked – all sorts of touristy things happening.

As I entered the gate and the Taj Mahal started to reveal was a mystical feel. When you see the Taj Mahal with your naked eyes – it is a beauty incomparable, unexplainable. And I would actually let the beauty stay and not destroy it with my words either.

There is a calmness, serendipity – all you need to do is to sit near the iconic and most captured frame by the photographers and gaze at the magnificent beauty. All thanks to Shah Jahan and his unconditional love for Mumtaz Mahal – we are obliged to see such a beautiful masterpiece – a UNESCO World Heritage Site

It is said that not just the architectural essence of the building is so soothing and intriguing but the emotions too. Mumtaz Mahal is believed to be a moody wife. This characteristic of hers is brilliantly captured by the architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, who has also built the Red fort. There are different hues on the marble architecture on different lights of the day. A hint of pink hue during the morning hours, milky white during the evening, and golden hue during the nights.

Well, this was the main reason I wanted to visit the Taj Mahal, this time during the sunrise. Since, I had already made a visit during the afternoon. However, early morning couldn’t be possible, but I visited it during the sunset. And the view….!!

What Would I Recommend? 

The first and foremost thing is if you are planning to visit the Taj Mahal – make sure you do it on a full moon night! It’s incredible, I want to do it and you should too. Secondly, if not a full moon night then mark your visit during the sunrise. The Taj Mahal opens up for visitors at 5.30 am and it’s a cooler to your eyes.

Also, not just recommending you for Taj Mahal but in general, often I am asked about my hotel bookings – How to book a Hotel? Or Which Application is preferred for Hotel Bookings? I usulally check out Goibibo, OYO, and FabHotels

Always make sure you go through the regulations of the hotel before you make a booking. If you have any confusion the best part is to call the executive of the respective hotel booking application and ask them. Also, when you call them it is often that OYO executives makes you a better offer than what is available on the application or the website. It is often a hefty discount and you can also ask them for an extended check-out time, which they will mention it on your booking itself. Therefore, you would not have an argument with the hotel staff.

While you are at Taj Mahal it is the best time to get some otherworld pictures clicked! There are several tricks to frame and capture the heritage beauty.

This was all for my Detox Trip – a much needed one. And it did work for me *touchwood*

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