Mayank was in the queue for tickets at the Nation Museum. He had heard that the museum had a special show that gave a virtual tour of historical buildings. He collected his ticket and went towards a big room that had the sign ‘Tour Hall‘. The ticker checker at the entrance handed him a funny-looking helmet that had a small keypad, like that of a mobile phone, attached to it.
He went in and the usher helped him to find his seat in the hall.
‘I’ll show you how to use the helmet.’ the usher said. He showed Mayank how to enter his name for the program me using the keypad. He could choose which monuments to visit.
Mayank chose the Taj Mahal at Agra. He put his helmet on,fastened his seat belt, and pressed the green button on the keypad.
Mayank was immediately transported to a city square in Agra, in 1654. It was a pleasant, moonlit evening. Mayank was surprised to see a young a young man welcoming him. The man introduced himself as Somnath and said that he was Mayank’s virtual tour guide. Soon, the two of them were walking through the city of Agra.
They reached the Taj Mahal, which looked as beautiful as a painting in the moonlit. Mayank was spellbound.
As they neared the main tomb, they saw an old man with a long beard gazing at the tomb thoughtfully. Somnath told Mayank,’ Look, that is Ustad Ahmad Lahauri .He was the chief architect for this magnificent tomb.’
Mayank was full of questions. He turned to Somnath and said, ‘This is a grand building! Where did the marble and the gems come from?’
‘The marble came from a place called Makrana in Rajasthan. The gems came from all over Asia__Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Turkey, China, Tibet, and Iran. The workers also came from faraway countries.’
Mayank looked excited. ‘The Taj Mahal was built by emperor Shah Jahan, wasn’t it? I would really like to know why he built such a grand monument.’
His guide smiled at him and said, ‘the emperor built it to remember his wife Mumtaz Mahal. He love her very much. It took 20 years and 22,000 workers to build this beautiful tomb.’
Mayank turned to look at the Taj Mahal once again. It was a full moon night. The Taj Mahal shone like a jewel. Mayank watched in wonder.
And then, Somnath spoke, ‘This will be the and of your tour, Mayank. Hope you enjoyed the experience.’
Mayank removed his helmet and shook his head slowly in amazement. It was the most wonderful experience he had ever had!