Inspirational School Visits to the Taj Mahal
Posted: Mar 20, 2014
When done correctly, educational excursions abroad can have a huge impact on the lives of pupils and be an invaluable teaching aid. Anyone who has ever taken one of these trips will certainly remember its highlights, as well as, quite possibly, a few of the things he or she learned from that fun (yet also educational) day out.
Despite increasingly strict regulations, many teachers continue to look to the experts to organise inspirational school visits for their pupils. In recent years, with the increasing ease of international travel, these types of programmes have progressively begun to look more and more towards the ‘outside’, with many educational establishments choosing to book inspirational school visits to landmarks and famous monuments in other countries.
Explore the Intrigue of India
In this regard, one of the most popular sites for young learners to visit continues to be the Taj Mahal. This spectacular palace - located in the Uttar Pradesh region of India, near the town of Agra – is rightfully known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Its majestic appearance and fascinating history help make it a prime destination for inspirational school visits for students of all ages.
A Symbol of History
The Taj Mahal’s history is intimately linked to that of India itself. The palace was built in the 17th century, and has since then stood as one of the most recognisable symbols of that country to foreign visitors. Its impact in Indian history since the time of its completion is undeniable, further contributing to make it a mandatory stop in any tours of that Asian country.
A Symbol of Love
The Taj Mahal came about as a way for emperor Shah Jahan to lament the passing of his third wife, Persian princess Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz died in labour, giving birth to the couple’s fourteenth child, and the emperor was so stricken with grief that he immediately vowed to build a fitting monument to the love the couple shared.
The tribute in question was, of course, the famous palace, construction of which began in 1632 (a year after the princess’s death) and took over twenty years, with thousands of artisans and craftsmen being employed over that period of time. To this day, the monument is held as one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture, a period style that mixes traditional Indian influences with others from neighbouring countries.
A Monument for the People
Over the next four centuries, the monument became one of the country’s most cherished treasures, with tourists from all over the world being attracted to it by both its stunning architecture and the tomb and mausoleum of Mumtaz Mahal, contained within. In 1983, the monument got its just reward when it was officially granted the title of UNESCO World Heritage site. Since then, there have been concerns about the palace caving in, due to the falling level of the river waters beneath the tomb, with some specialists predicting an accident in as little as five years.
Despite these concerns, however, the Taj Mahal continues to be a main attraction for tourists the world over, and is undoubtedly one of the world’s leading destinations for inspirational school visits.
Angela Bowden works for EST (Equity School Travel), the UK's largest educational travel company, providing inspirational school visits for secondary schools, primary schools and colleges. Tours with EST can also encompass a wide range of other learning opportunities in worldwide destinations.
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