Is there a place on earth that you visited many times and yet it amazed you every single time?
They say, Taj Mahal is the symbol of love and has been idolized that way.

‘I love you’ is a greeting card company innovation. But, is it good enough to express one’s feelings for the beloved? It’s so small a word. The feeling of togetherness is older than the phrase.

Back in medieval age, one man wanted to express his deep emotions through what he is good at. Architecture.

We know the tale of Shah Jahan and his begum, Mumtaz.

But do we see the complete picture? I am sure the canvas has more paint on it.

<17th century>
Mumtaz on death-bed asked her beloved, Shah Jahan to promise her. Promise to revive his love for architecture into building a magnificent monument.

Shah Jahan knew she will leave this mortal world. He wanted to be sure she is in good place, he wanted her to be in heaven. He wished to be united with her in Jannat. But there is no heaven on earth, and had a promise to fulfill, a promise not easy to keep.

So, the mighty Mughal commissioned and funded a mammoth masterpiece, Taj Mahal!!

Mumtaz devoted good time for riverside garden in Agra. As a tribute, he built Gardens around the mausoleum with flowing water, fruit bearing trees and heavenly fragrances symbolizing his ideals of Jannat. There are cypress trees signifying death of his beloved, lotus for fertility the children they had, Lemon and citron pairs symbolizing reunion of lovers in paradise. These Gardens provide beautiful backdrop to the magnificent Taj.

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Later on, he wanted to build a black Taj across the river in Mehtab Bagh for mourning his late Begum. But like in most stories, his wish was incomplete.
</17th century>

We happened to be in Agra again and full moon was back in town.

Most of those who visit Agra stick to Taj Mahal, Agra fort in one day and leave for other place. But there is something one shouldn’t miss.

Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah (upcoming post).
Upcoming

Thanks to Sindhu for dragging me there.

We took our time to relax and start. It was late afternoon. We went Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb first and then to Mehtab Bagh.

It was supposed to be calm and less touristy. Thanks to the social media fuelled tourism, people were everywhere.

It’s not about the people who I complain about, it’s what they do – spoiling others’ experience. When I saw Taj after several teases from long, I am amazed again. No wonder it is among the top destination. I preferred not to waste any time clicking, took a lot less than usual.

The place where we were sitting is ruined completely over time. Followed a falcon’s trail and saw the moon fading in. We sat till the security shoo shoo ‘d us.

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How beautiful? How amazed were we? Its’ hard to explain.

I couldn’t take my mind off Taj mahal. So, the next day, we went to taj again, through the main entry.

There was something about the clouds that day. I checked the weather forecast, and it said, light rain. We started off anyway.

Weather was gloomy and it was a lazy morning. The hint of Taj’s tomb again. We were excited, but walked in slowly.

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As soon as we had full display of the Taj, we looked into each other smiling checking how happy each other are to see this.

“Lets just stay here and watch the bigger picture, we don’t need that”,We were in agreement. We occupied a bench and settled.

from our spot

It was calming, comforting, breezy and chilly. There was sunshine occasionally with clouds drifting, and then gloomy again. It felt as if a dozen sunrises happened in sequence.

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I was aware of the forecast and surprisingly, forecast turned out to be true. It rained.
Taj Mahal in rain!! There was a hint from faraway, sound of raindrops crashing. We didn’t move till it got intense. We were jam-packed at the entrance gate and people were clearing off from the Tomb region. Birds that sing to everything disappeared looking for a cover.

It was raining, fountains were pumping, White makarana Taj is simmering gracefully and we lost track of time. Hearts sang along with the sound of rain.

It is such moment again, where you got to be there to know how it was.

Bygod, it is the moment worth million joints.

I was trying to capture a mental image. Of Taj, of us; from a long beautiful perspective.

When we left, she got all mushy-mushy circling me till the cab reached. That’s her hunger sign.

We got an auto and the driver asked,”how is Taj?”

we saw it before at sunrise, sunset and even at full moon. But we saw it in rain this time, and its beautiful”.

” kuch naseeb walon ko aisi mauka milega”, was his reply. [only few fortunate will get to see Taj in rain]

My journey ended at Varanasi, technically. Taj in moon was something we came for. Wolfing mughlai chicken in spicy darbar, we dropped the idea of Taj in full moon. To carry on with the feels of Taj in rain 🙂

2 Replies to “Song from a secret garden”

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