Many people feel that a visit to India is not complete without a visit to the breathtakingly beautiful Taj Mahal described by the poet Tagore as ‘a tear on the face of eternity’. It is the classic visual symbol of India. This mausoleum was built over 20 years of translucent white marble inlaid with 35 types of precious stones by the Moghul emperor, Shah Jehan in the 17th century, as a response to his dying wife’s request that he build something in the memory of the beauty of their love. So much has been written to describe this monument to love, so many photographs taken and yet each time the Taj surprises us by its enigmatic quality that is difficult to define. While at Agra we visit the museum and the mosque at the Taj and another UNESCO World Heritage Site the magnificent Agra Fort that was built by four generations of Mughals on the banks of the Yamuna river. Shantum helps us understand the historical, architectural, artisanal and spiritual dimensions, to spend time in meditative silence watching the changing moods and colours of the Taj as the sun sets so as to touch that ‘elusive quality that makes the Taj the most magical building in the world?’.
Extensions that may be added before and after Taj Mahal: