An enduring monument to love… A cold tomb of colossal proportions… A symbol of national pride… A feat of architectural prowess… An engineering wonder… A little bit of paradise right here on earth…
I could TRY to describe the Taj Mahal, but I’d fail.
That’s because it’s like nothing else on earth.
I could wax lyrical for hours and hours about the Taj’s smooth translucent marble, the harmony of its perfect proportions and the majesty of its wondrous walls, which have been painstakingly inlaid with glistening semi-precious stones, but I wouldn’t do it justice.
You see, words alone can’t describe the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you stroll up to this exquisite, dreamlike mausoleum of love. It’s a deliciously-painful blend of bittersweet sadness and joyous astonishment—and as far as I know, a word hasn’t been created to express that emotion yet. Although I’m a writer and I detest the idea of a mere building defeating the power of words—with the Taj, I admit defeat.
That’s because the Taj Mahal can’t be described. It has to be experienced.
The best I can do is to say that the Taj feels like it’s a living, breathing entity that encapsulates the elegant, loving spirit of India and the Indian people.
This ethereal memorial was built to memorialize the Mughal leader Shah Jahan’s favorite queen, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth. It was said that she was so beautiful that the moon hid its face in shame before her.
Strolling up to the Taj as the early morning light caresses it in shades of soft, pale pink, it’s easy to believe that Mumtaz was a beauty like no other, and that the Shah loved her more than life itself.
And yes, I may be an old romantic fool, but I defy anyone with a heart not to be utterly blown away by their first unforgettable glimpse of the Taj Mahal…
Vickie Sam Paget is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver, BC. When she’s not creating dynamic travel or tech content, globetrotting or gazing at the North Shore Mountains, you can usually find her curled up with a good book or sipping a pint of the good stuff in her local Irish bar.