Kavi Guru Rabindranath Tagore’s quote dedicated to the Taj is perhaps one of the best to describe its’ beauty. The word ‘Taj’ originates from Persia and it literally means a ‘Crown’. True to its meaning, Taj Mahal is indeed ‘Crown of the Palace’!!
It took 20 long years to complete the Taj Mahal (1632-1653) and since then it has been an eternal symbol of beauty and love. Indeed, timeless love it was which made the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan build this white marble mausoleum in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal!
Well… you can easily come to know a lot about Taj Mahal across the internet as there are numerous articles describing the history, the engineering marvel of Taj, the love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz etc. Today I am not here to discuss all those sories…. Rather I want to share with you my experience of viewing Taj Mahal on a full moon night!
Taj Mahal has been a centre of tourist attraction since long. It was declared as the winner of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’ initiative long back in 2007. But the Taj Mahal has been attracting its admirers from all over the world since its completion. I had read about the mesmerizing view of Taj mahal on a moonlit night in a novel and since then I had cherished the dream of viewing the Taj Mahal on a full moon night. The opportunity finally came on 12th November, 2019, the night of ‘Guru Purnima’ (Guru Nanak Jayanti).
My trip to Agra was a part of the famous ‘Golden Triangle’ tour with my family. Since the ticket for night view Taj Mahal is not available for purchase online, I was a little concerned about the availability of tickets as the stock is limited. However, I managed the tickets through a travel agent (after agreeing to pay some extra amount) and was finally able to view the magnificent Taj Mahal on a full moon night.
Night viewing of Taj Mahal is allowed from two days before the date of full moon and continues till two days after the date of full moon. The tourists are allowed from 8:30 PM onwards and the viewing continues till 12:30 AM with approximately 50 visitors per batch (8 batches are allowed per day). Maximum viewing time is 30 minutes per batch. As per the instructions printed in the ticket, I had to report to the Shilpagram gate by 8 PM with my family members. After verifying the ID details and passing through almost four security checks, we finally boarded a battery operated bus along with fellow visitors (mostly foreigners) which took us to the main gate of the Taj Mahal. Thereafter, following another round of verification and security check, we were finally allowed inside the Taj mahal!! After around 5 minutes, all the spot lights were switched off and in the darkness the Taj Mahal was there infront of us!! Although the infamous fog of Delhi and Agra region during that time of the year played spoilsport to some extent, but the Taj mahal was a sheer visual treat under the full moon!! It took around another 5 minutes or so to adjust my vision in the darkness and then it was there right infront of me!! My long desired wish of viewing Taj Mahal on a full moon night eventually fulfilled!!
I tried to capture the moment with my Nikon D-3200 35mm Low Light lens but the light was very insufficient to capture a perfect moment. The grain visible in the pictures is due to the fog out there. I am not a novelist who can perfectly describe the moment by using perfect literary verses or a poet who can pen down a poem or two describing this moment perfectly, all I can say is the feeling was wonderful, something words cannot describe!! So if you also have a desire to view Taj Mahal on a full moon night, just don’t delay anymore…. Experience it with your own eyes and treasure the memory forever!!
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