Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognized monuments in the world. Its grandeur is powerful-it is everything you expect and more. The intensely romantic symbolism behind the Taj Mahal is historic and poetic.  Shah Jahan had this mausoleum built in honor of his Empress Mumtaz Mahal after her death. It is said that 20,000 people and 1,000 elephants were involved in building it for 22 years. IMG_6046 Leading up to the mausoleum is a Mughal garden with canals and fountains.

The dome supposedly symbolizes the female form and the Taj Mahal is a perfectly proportionate marble building with rich details, carvings, inlaid jewels and an opalescent lighting to it. The other buildings surrounding the Taj Mahal are there for balance.

What was particularly moving to me was the story of the Shah Jahan’s imprisonment by his own son in the fort overlooking the Taj Mahal. IMG_6079He was eventually buried in the mausoleum next to his beloved Empress. He was referred to as one of the greatest Mughals. What impressed my son the most was the fact that the entire building, which seems so massive as you approach it, was all basically built to house a tomb!

What impressed me the most was the ornate and intricate carving on the building and how it is full of colorful details. Our tour guide shined a light up to it which revealed a glow of jewels like carnelian and other jewels and colors. IMG_6059IMG_6065IMG_6066IMG_6067

 Click on this link to read excellent descriptions and watch the fascinating 4 minute video on the engineering of the Taj Mahal. You will feel like you are there! Scroll down that page and you’ll see another video.


My teenage son was also very happy to find out later that George Harrison, the Beatle, took a photo in front of the Taj Mahal when he was in his early 20’s. SAM_1382It was a special memory to share with my son after his first year away from home at college.

Late at night, although we were tired and running on empty, I asked my sister-in-law to join me on the hotel room balcony for a glass of wine. Our hotel room had a view of the Taj Mahal. She pointed out to me how nice it was that the Taj Mahal is not lit up at night or over commercialized. 

photos by Gina Michalopulos Kingsley


Stories like this are in the book A Magic Carpet Ride. Click on link below to order.


Follow this lesson plan to build trip itineraries with your family:

Travel Lesson Plan: Integrate the Concepts


2 thoughts on “Taj Mahal

    1. thanks! It is special to co-travel with your “adult” kids. In the India trip situation, my son became was useful as a male presence for us females on the trip.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *