We hop on a golf cart at the Oberoi Amarvilas, and head out for a short ride to the Taj. We’ve seen it from the great hotel—every window at Amarvilas looks out to the nearby world wonder—but now we’ll introduce ourselves to what the Victorian Viceroy Lord Curzon called “gem of man’s handiwork…the most perfect structure in the world.”
Our Micato Travel Director takes care of the tickets, we enter the high Western Gate, and now we see the Taj in full, dramatically framed by the red sandstone arch.
As we approach, walking along reflecting pools, we may remember the words of Theo Cruz, who said that “The only way I could escape the feeling of being in a dream was to close my eyes.”
We linger before the stately but sensuous building (it almost seems disrespectful to call the Taj a mere building), appreciating the artistry of its setting and the quiet awe of our fellow visitors, then walk up to the marble plinth on which the Taj rests.
Inside the great dome we marvel at its exquisite marble inlay, and walking around the monument, lightly stroking its luminous white marble, taking it all in, we’re gently bombarded by sensations. One visitor wrote of feeling a surprising pride at being human, another of being in the almost overwhelming presence of a beautiful and kindly woman, and Lord Curzon found the Taj “without flaw or blemish…irresistible, impossible to criticize, incapable of improvement.” But whatever form our emotions and thoughts take, we know that the great Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore was right when he asked that even if “the splendour of diamond, pearl and ruby” may vanish, “only let this one teardrop, this Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and ever.”