It was noon before the Taj Mahal opened to the public. By that time, it was in the mid-90s and very crowded. Since only authorized vehicles are allowed near the entrance, we opted to ride to the entry gate in a horse-drawn cart.
The Taj Mahal is one of the most graceful and extravagant monuments in India. It is a symbol of endless love and devotion of an all-mighty prince and a simple girl hawking silk and glass beads in the market. Their marriage seems so much like a fairy tale. The faithful wife, Mumtaz Mahal, marched with the prince, Shah Jehan, who was later crowned the emperor, on his every expedition and bore him fourteen children. On her deathbed, she made the emperor promise to make a lovely monument unlike any other as a tribute to their love. The emperor kept the promise and thus the Taj Mahal was conceived. It took 22 years to build (1631-1653).