This morning, I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. After several nights of sleep with the tossy-turnys, last night I got a ton of sleep. Sure, it might have been from a drug-induced coma of a safe cocktail of sleeping meds but I NEEDED sleep. I zonked out at 6:30 p.m. and did’t wake up until 4:30 this morning (more on that later). Friends, if your mama didn’t tell you, then take note: sleep is your friend. In our house, I receive a healthy dose of teasing for my now notorious weekend and after-work naps. However, from this point forward I will take no shame in those two hours of sleeping bliss. Sleep keeps me sane, balanced and together. Sleep and I have a Barney-esque relationship, I love it and it loves me. Sleep and I will be BFF forever … and you can quote me on that.
Why the 4:30 a.m. wake up call? Today was the day that we’ve all been waiting for – the Taj Mahal. In order to avoid the crowds and take advantage of the cool air, we woke up early this morning to visit one of the world’s greatest wonders.
The story behind the Taj is romantic and tragic. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal (translated into the “Crown Palace”) in honor of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after she died of complications during the birth to her fourteenth child. Upon the completion of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son, Aurangzeb, and was placed under house arrest at the Agra Fort. Shah Jahan lived in the Agra Fort with a clear view of the Taj Mahal and his belated wife for eight years until he died of dysentery. After Shah Jahan’s death, Aurangzeb buried his father next to Mumtaz in the Taj Mahal and their tombs remain there to this day. I never realized that the Taj Mahal had such a remarkable story but it certainly does add to the palace’s ethereal nature.
Serving as a pristine example of Mughal architecture, the Taj Mahal’s marble facade changes by the minute as the sun rises on the mausoleum. What looks like hand-carved marble from a distance is actually marble with inlays of precious and semi-precious stones including jade, lapis Lazuli, onyx and bloodstone. There isn’t much more I can say about the Taj Mahal because it leaves you speechless. Visiting the Taj Mahal was a dream come true – I only wish that my friends and family and Jeddy could have been there with me.