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The five myths of Taj Mahal you wanted to know!

Myths and Legends about the Taj Mahal

Mughal emperor Shah Jahan commissioned a beautiful pearly white mausoleum in 1632 to commemorate his beloved wife Arjumand Bano Begum, who tragically died because of complications while delivering their 14th child. The sudden sad demise of his favourite wife was a great personal loss for the emperor.

Inspired by the great sorrow that enveloped him, Shah Jahan dedicated the next 22 years of his life and entire resources of his empire in building this monumental building, which we know today as Taj Mahal. It took relentless efforts of more than 20,000 workers, who laboured on the site day and night for 22 years straight, and finally, Taj Mahal was accomplished in 1653.

Such is the magnificence and admiration of Taj Mahal in the Indian subcontinent that this UNESCO world heritage site is frequented by millions of tourists from around the world every year. The immense popularity of Taj Mahal across the globe has rendered it the most iconic monument of India. Indeed, like many other popular buildings around the world, Taj Mahal is also associated with many myths that refuse to die.

So, let us explore the top five myths associated with Taj Mahal in this blog, some of which you are anyways likely to hear from people on your way to visiting the Taj Mahal!

Read Also Taj Mahal MoonLight

Taj Mahal workers hands cut

Myth No. 1: It is said that Shah Jahan was so blinded by his obsession to build something absolutely celestial and unique in the memory of his wife that as soon as construction of Taj Mahal finished, he ordered to cut off the hands of each sculptor, artisan and architect who contributed in building the monument.

He did so to ensure that they would not be able to build another building as magnificent and as beautiful as Taj Mahal. In extension to this story, it is maintained that Shah Jahan also ordered to pull out the eyes of all the labourers, sculptors, artists and architects who worked on Taj Mahal so that they would never again witness anything more glorious and exquisite than the Taj Mahal.

Myths and Legends about the Taj Mahal

Myths and Legends about the Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal Mystery

Myth 2: According to another myth, the construction of the monument is precariously sinking in the riverside.

According to a letter from Aurangzeb to Shah Jahan in 1652, cracks actually developed in the foundation of Taj Mahal barely four years after the completion of its construction.

The architects of Taj Mahal had exercised all possible precautions and taken all measures to have a strong, stable and evenly distributed foundation.

The best of building material was used throughout its construction. Nonetheless, cracks developed in its foundation, which were, but of course, readily repaired, but the reason for cracks was not investigated. Later on, in 1810, cracks were yet again discovered at hazardous levels and an advisory committee was constituted to restore and conserve the monument.

During this survey, it was also gathered that the plinth of the mausoleum is tilting on the Northern side, which is the riverside, by around 3.5 cm. This gave rise to the myth that Taj Mahal is sinking, which sails on to this day.

Taj Mahal facts shiva Temple

Myth 3: Another myth that haunts the Taj Mahal is that the structure was originally a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.

It is believed that the building was obtained from a Rajput King named Mirza Jai Singh. Emperor Shah Jahan seized the Hindu temple to convert it into a beautiful mausoleum for his wife.

It is believed that the Shiva temple was originally known as “Tejo Mahalaya” and Shah Jahan renamed it to Taj Mahal, deriving the name from its original name only.

Mystery about Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal at Evening

Read More about Day tours India

Taj Mahal love myth

Myth 4: According to another faction, however, Shah Jahan named the monument Taj Mahal, after his beloved wife whose another name was Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal literally speaking though means the “Place of the Crown”.

Hidden Truth of Taj Mahal

Myth 5: Another popular myth that surrounds Taj Mahal to this day is that it was much more glorious and opulent in its earlier form.

It is believed that the ivory-white monument was originally bedecked with authentic gold leaves, diamonds, several precious stones, and pearl blankets. However, the items were sadly stolen and looted away without a trace.

Even though not much could be found to substantiate any of these myths, each has become an integral part and parcel of Taj Mahal’s rich cultural heritage and history.

Each story tends to leave you in a state of wonderment; they sound so incredible but told with such conviction that each mention adds an air of mystique and intrigue to Taj Mahal.

Warning; you are losing money by not using Taj Mahal during Full Moon Nights

Why should you have a moonlight view of the Taj Mahal?

Till 2004,  Taj Mahal during Full Moon Nights was banned to ward off bombing threats. The 20 years long ban was, however, lifted in 2004 on popular demand, and the gates to Taj Mahal were flung open for tourists on the full moon night and two nights before and after it. Ever since the tickets to the event sell like hot cakes and generally sell out within a few hours; such is the craze for the Full moonlight view among people at large, across the globe.

Image courtesy:httpchris-white.travellerspoint.com15

Image courtesy:httpchris-white.travellerspoint.com15

And why not, Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful architectural marvels that has won a multitude of hearts with its picture perfect symmetry, immaculate balance and rhythmic union of several elements. Set against a soft blue sky, it appears to be in soaked in different moods with changing hues. One can go and see it at any time of the day and it comes across as gorgeous as ever. Taj’s night view on a full moon night is also stunning. A detailed and engaging description of the Taj Mahal can be caught up at http://www.travelwitharchie.com/monuments-india-agra-taj-mahal/.

 

Taj Mahal by Night

In the silence of the night, sans the clamour of the day’s crowd, when a rich velvety blanket of darkness swallows all colours to shades of grey, white Taj Mahal in the diffused ocean of moonlight welcomes you to its rather elusive glamorous side in monochrome. The vision is bound to give goose bumps to die-hard romantics, for standing there with your own beloved’s hand in hand before the two archetypes of love – Taj Mahal with the full moon – is nothing short of a poetic and peaceful experience.

The opinion of the common man on moonlight view of Taj Mahal, however, is quite polarised. There are several reviews out there who have regretted spending their time and money on the night view. But then, there are several positive reviews as well who have described the experience magical and satisfying. Apparently, to appreciate the silhouette of this monumental mausoleum in the diffused light of the full moon is not everybody’s cup of tea.

Image Courtesy: http://paisleycurtain.blogspot.in/

It depends on the beholders’ sensitivity, temperament and ability to look beyond technical hiccups. To ward off any terrorist attacks, the visit to the monument involves elaborate security checks and the tourists are not allowed to enter the gardens at night. The entire night view stay of 30 minutes is undertaken from a platform on the Eastern Gate of the Taj Mahal.

The view is, however, full-scale, completely clear of the crowd, silent and peaceful. In other words, it is the idyllic time to spend some quiet time in contemplation with the epitome of beauty and love – an opportunity you can never get during day time. So, if you happen to be visiting Agra around full-moon night and you have the option to do it, it would be wiser to see it for yourself than skip it altogether. Deciding against it on the basis of someone else’s penchants may only leave you regretful later on.

Whether the experience turns out to be great or not so great will be for you to decide, but why miss it while you can.

Taj mahal full moon online booking

Tickets for the night trip to Taj Mahal can be bought in person from the office of Archaeological Survey of India (Agra) at Agra Circle, 22 The Mall, Agra, at the most 24 hours in advance. The entire schedule of full moon nights is already drawn up for several years in advance and is available on their website. The booking opens between 1000 hours and 1800 hours and tickets are sold on first come first serve basis to up to 400 people per night. Tourists are sorted into 8 batches of 50 each. One batch at a time is allowed to enter Taj Mahal premises for a maximum period of 30 minutes only. The first batch enters the premises at 2030 hours and the last batch goes in at midnight and stays inside up to 0030 hours.

Image Credit : http://www.indiamike.com/

When going to buy tickets, take along true photocopies of your passport. In case you change your mind and wish to cancel the tickets for some odd reason, you can get it done at the same office of ASI on the date of visit before 1300 hours. Cancellation charges at the rate of 25% are levied per ticket. You’ll be required to report half an hour before your scheduled time at the Shilpgram – Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal for security checks.

To know all about how to book Taj Mahal tickets, including night trip, in detail and thoroughly, you may visit the blog http://www.fullstopindia.com/how-to-buy-taj-mahal-tickets/#prettyPhoto . However, this blog needs to be amended because the entrance tickets of all the monuments are increased from 01st April 2016.

Wish you all a happy full moon night trip to Taj Mahal!

 

Day Tours in India

“It appears like a perfect pearl on an azure ground. The effect is such that I have never experienced from any work of art.”-Hodges-British painter.

The painter here is talking about the grandeur of TajMahal-Agra. It is the perfect destination for a day tour from Delhi, if you are short of time. Taj Mahal is included in the seven wonders of the worlds and is declared world heritage site by UNESCO. Needless to say, the bewitching rich culture and history of Mughal era make Agra a city of unmatched charm and intrigue. Taj mahal is definitely the primary attraction , but Chini ka rauza, Jama Masjid,Akbar’s Mausoleum,Persian style gardens as Ram bagh, Saomi bagh and Dayal bagh are also great examples of art, beauty and culture.

Reaching Agra has become easier because of the Yamuna Express way. The travel time is just a little over four and half hours. Plan to start off your journey by 7.30 am and you can reach Agra by 11.30 to take a tour of the Taj Mahal. After lunch you can visit the Agra fort and start for your return journey by around 7.00 pm. Fatehpur Sikri or the city of victory is located approximately about 37 kilometres from Agra. It was built by Akbar the great in honour of a saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who blessed him with three sons. It is one of the finest constructions of the Mughal architecture during 15th century. Diwan-e-khas is the royal chamber of the emperor, Panch Mahal- the jenena of the royal family and harem, tomb of Salim Chisti,Buland Darwaza- it is the largest get way in the world at 54 feet ,built to mark victory over gujrat, Jodha Bai palace, Birbal Palace are few of the places to see the magficient mughal architecture and history. This all can be done within a day tour.

Day Tour from Delhi

If you are in Delhi, then a day tour of Agra is something one must do. Agra is also considered a shopper’s paradise as it has something or the other on offer for everyone. Sadar bazaar, Munro road ,Kinnari bazaar are famous shopping places in Agra. One can buy clothes, shoes, perfumes, beautifully woven carpets, artefacts and handbags and so on.

image credit:globetrotter.photography

A day tour of Agra from Delhi is one of the most sought after holiday package for people who have limited time.It has mystery, magic and allure throughout its entire spread. It is said that Taj Mahal is just not a jewel crafted to dazzle the eyes but divine message to whisper to the soul. Arabic inscription decorate the main gate and the main mausoleum with spiritual scriptures from Quran in black marble. Government approved travel guides with identity cards are available to help you with the history and myths of Mughal period and its influence on architecture and culture. Visitors are captivated and enthralled with the intricate inlay work and are left awestruck at the sheer brilliance of each monument. A day tour of Agra from New-Delhi will become an unforgettable experience of your life.

 

Fairs and Festivals of Rajasthan

The western state of Rajasthan in India though demographically barren and dry, the life here compensates more than the lack of lustre with its vibrant colours and the spirit of people living here. The fairs and festivals celebrated bear testimony to the aforesaid statement. To begin with it would be of interest to note that the regions takes part in more than a score of fairs and festivals throughout the year.

BIKANER CAMEL FESTIVAL

BIKANER CAMEL FESTIVAL

Each of the celebration has a religious sentiment attached or economic interests. Nonetheless it marks a splendid joy of life in these hard and sandy terrains. The pink city –Jaipur and Jodhpur hosts the famous Kite festival in the month of January around 13-14th .It traditionally celebrates the transition of the planet sun from Sagittarius to Capricorn. People take holy dip in the Galtaji and pray for health, wealth and prosperity. It is an official holiday making it great for everyone to enjoy kite flying. The whole sky becomes a playground for fanciful, colourful and different shapes of kites during this occasion. People enjoy many delicacies made of sesame seeds to mark the end of winter season.
Camel Festival or the world famous Puskar mela held in the town of Pushkar is another grand fair exhibiting the colourful life of Rajasthani locals for five days at a stretch. Tourists from world over come to see this fair. This fair is organised on the occasion of Kartik Poornima during the months of October and November. It is rumoured to the largest cattle fair in the world.

traditional wrestling

traditional wrestling

Ganguar festival is a very important festival for the people of Rajasthan. During the months of March and April married women observe day long fast to appease goddess Parvati (wife of lord Shiva) and to pray for the well being and long life of their husbands. Women take holy bath and deck up in almost bridal finery before they set out for the annual procession of the goddess. It is celebrated by all Rajasthani women settled everywhere in India and abroad.
Rajasthan is a desert state. Jaisalmer Desert festival held in the month of February is a great way of celebrating that. This exotic fair with the back ground of long and golden stretches of sand in the Thar Desert will take your breath away. Tourists from every corner of the world flock here to enjoy the phenomenal display of talent and way of life through folk music, dance and tantalizing array of delicacies.

TRADITIONAL ELEPHANT FESTIVAL

ELEPHANT FESTIVAL

India has a rich culture is a known fact. The life of Indians revolves closely around nature and its inhabitants. Elephant festival of Jaipur during the festival of colours (holi) is an example of that. During this festival these grand animals are decked in the finest costumes, worshipped, fed and then taken out for a royal procession. The elephants also take part in a royal polo match with their trained mahouts and it is indeed an amazing display of control, poise and friendship. No matter when you plan your visit to this incredible state of India-you would be enjoying an unadulterated spirit of joy and life to behold for rest of your lives.

Ringing in the NEW YEAR-2016

New Year is celebrated at the stroke of midnight around world on 31st December. However India as a magnificent and unbelievable diverse country rings in their New Year during different month in different states. Confused right? India uniquely follows Solar calendar and Lunar calendar systems which makes way for these different New Year celebrations.

The festivities include new clothes, prayers, fun activities and a wide variety of delicious cuisine. Young generations seek the blessings of elders and elders shower love and blessings on the family and kids. India is predominantly an agricultural country and is majorly dependent on monsoons for their produce. Monsoon varies from region to region hence most New Year celebrations mark the onset of spring season.

Beautiful scenic view - colorful sunset

Beautiful scenic view – colorful sunset

Mostly New Year is celebrated on the same day across sates under different names. For example, people of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka celebrate Ugadi during March and April. Maharashtrians and Konkans observe Gudi Parva on the first day of Chaitra month .They decorate their entrance with Gudi which is bamboo adorned with a bright yellow sari and inverted copper vessel and a garland of sugarcane. Baisakhi –the festival of harvest marks the New Year for all Punjabis across the world. Puthandu is celebrated by Tamilians with wishing each other “Puthandu Vazthukal” around 13-14th April and mouth watering delicacy of raw mango,jiggery and neem flowers called Mangai Pachadi is served. Assamese New Year is called Bohag Bihu filled with ardour, fun and festive spirit.Bengal and parts of eastern states like Tripura celebrate Pohela baishak on 14th April marking the beginning of New Year. Bestu Varas or teh New Year celebrated right after Diwali by Marwaris and Gujaratis. They believe the day to be blessed for new beginnings. One is easily dazed with the rituals and traditions following such fanfare of festivities.

Amazing sunset

Amazing sunset

Vishhukani-the first sighting of the morning of the New Year is observed with deep faith and hope by people of Kerala. Losar or Loosong celebrated around December in Sikkim is a way of bringing in the harvesting season with joy and pride. Navreh is Kashmiri way of celebrating the New Year –It usually falls on the first day of Navratri.

Hijri – the traditional way to mark New Year by followers of Islam. Cheti Chand marks the beginning of a New Year for Sindhis and they traditionally celebrated it by making auspicious offerings to their diety-Jhulelal.

The world has seen many types of New Year celebration such as Chinese New year, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur –the Jewish New Year, Thai New Year –Songkran but no country celebrates it the way India does.

Ten reasons why you should have a Rajasthan Tour for your next holiday destination.

Rajasthan-the land of erstwhile Kings and beautiful queens as we all know it but why it is so famous? What makes it such a hot spot among tourists and locals alike? Often wondered right? Let us try to unravel it for you.

What better way it would be other than to take a desert safari on the ship of the desert through the vast expanse of Thar in Jaisalmer. As you ride along the sand dunes breathe in the air and treat your eyes to the golden hues of sun throughout the surroundings. The entire scene takes you to a different world altogether. It is a must do things for photographers, adventurers and experience seekers. Sunheri Kothi in Tonk is yet another unique spot to be for the history buffs as the moment you step inside this one of kind haveli you would be dazed with the work of mirrors. Originally designed to host variety of musical and dance performances and had been constricted aptly for the same.

Camels taking pause while safari at jaisalmer

Camels taking pause while safari at jaisalmer

Artisans and people who love to see handicraft of world must visit at Anokhi museum of hand Printing in Amber fort. It is believed to be a gem in itself. It has some of the rarest tools used in this field on display. Want a thrilling experience? Gear yourself up a jeep safari on the dunes or go for Padholi bird sanctuary and end with folk dance and dinner at one of nearby camps.(to be arranged beforehand).Jaipur –the pink city is still incomplete without from the top of a balloon Safari...Just fly over and you will be amazed to see the charming view of the city from the top.

elephant festival at jaipur

elephant festival at jaipur

The captivating state of Rajasthan gives you ample opportunities to explore India in its truest colours an d sensibilities. One such experience can be enjoyed at Chandra Mahal Haveli nestled in obscure village of Peharsar. It has perfect blend of old world charm and modern amenities for today’s tourist. Mount Abu is the only hill station in the state and has plenty on offer for the wandering spirit. It is like a little oasis in the vast expanse of dry lands. Dilwara temple is one of the oldest and finest works of Jain architecture among the

Dilwara Jain Temple

Dilwara Jain Temple

Jain faith in world is located here. Sunset at Nakki lake is yet another bewitching attractions in Mount Abu among others. The city of lakes –Udaipur houses Bagore ki haveli which has been converted in to a museum to protect it royal touch is a great place to be and have feel of the gone era. Monsoon Palace or sajjangarh garh palace is an unique spot for amazing sunset shots. Originally this palace was built to keep a track of monsoon progress in the region. Chittorgarh claims a important places of visit in Rajasthan tour. This ancient place is home to great warriors like Maharana Pratap and revered saints like Meera bai. The Chittorgarh fort holds many important forts, palaces and temples in itself being the largest fort in India. A tour of Rajasthan is a promise of varied experiences in a lifetime.

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