The car ride from Rishikesh to Agra took us through some of the poorest parts of India. It was about a ten hour drive going through one village after another which looked pretty much the same.
And then there was the magnificent Taj Mahal- one of the Wonders of the World – a Mughal architecture which combines elements from Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian styles of buildings.
This ivory-white marble mausoleum was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died giving birth to her fourteenth child. It was built by the Shah after Mumtaz’ death in 1651 as an expression of eternal love for his favorite queen.
When the Shah met Mumtaz Mahal it was love at first sight. The name Taj, meaning “crown” is of Hindi and Sanskrit origin. Mahal, meaning “love” is of Japanese origin. Thus, one can say that The Taj Mahal is the crowning symbol of love.