Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wah Taj !!!

The entire nation recently celebrated the inclusion of Taj Mahal in the list of new 7 wonders of the world, in a ceremony in Lisbon on the just the right date 07/07/07.

I recently visited Taj Mahal in Feb, as part of a short tour of North India, which I have been promising to write about in my blog for quite some time :).

This was my first visit to the world famous monument.

Yes, I loved the place.

What struck me was the sense of peace which I felt there. It was kind of unexpected, but the serenity of the place was overwhelming, inspite of the milling crowd. Maybe it was because of the white marble. I just did not feel like walking out the place.

Surprisingly, the entrance to this world famous place is very unassuming. You need to pass a series of extremely narrow roads before you reach the gate where the entry tickets are sold. I think I entered through the east gate. Inspite of the fact that these narrow roads were outlined with shops selling souvenirs for tourists, I was still not sure if I had come to the right place. I was unsure even when I entered the gardens shielding Taj by high walls. Then suddenly I entered a huge arched gateway and there it was. I felt a shiver of excitement run through me, for setting my eyes on the Taj Mahal for the first time in my life, and also at the realisation that I had not lost my way :))

Just after passing the arched gateway, lies the "famous bench" where everyone who visits Taj gets their photo clicked with the Taj in the background.

The inner sanctum of the Taj has a foul smell to it. I was surprised because there is ample air flow inside because of the carved marble panels forming the walls. It is difficult to stay inside for a long time. More than that, it is very disappointing. Come on !!! The last thing you want to be greeted with, when you enter Taj Mahal is foul smell !!!! Its time something is done about it, especially with Taj being in the new list, and the new increased tourist activity.

It was evening time and the place was full of tourists. Photography was at the top of everyone's mind. People were trying to capture the monument in various creative ways, e.g, there were many lying prostrate in front of the small water body in the front garden, trying to capture the reflection on water. Others would pass by, first wondering what was going on, and later joining the activity :)

Anyway, I walked around and spent as much time as I could there till darkness set in. I would love to visit this place again and spend more time if possible.


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~A said...


Venkat said...

the way it's being maintained, I felt it would have been right to remove it from the list..