January 23, 2009 2:29:23 pm
She came,she saw and was left mesmerised — Hollywood diva Julia Roberts made an almost incognito visit to the Taj Mahal and succeeded to a great extent in her escape act from shutterbugs and journalists.
Wearing a scarf to hide her identity from the large number of fans and mediapersons who had gathered at the monument of love awaiting her visit yesterday,Julia behaved like an ordinary visitor preferring to walk towards the edifice from the main gateway on the sidewalk rather than the main platform running along the central vista.
Only a few journalists could recognise her though many had laid in wait for her and in vain scanned the road from Amar Vilas Hotel,where she was staying,to the Taj.
When she appeared at the Taj gate,it was almost dusk and she mingled with the crowd,avoiding the media and walking barefoot from the barrier to the marbled platform with her husband and a guide.
She reportedly asked the guide more questions on Mumtaj Mahal than on the Taj — she was curious to know about the number of children Mumtaj had and how she died.
At the cenotaphe chamber,she showed interest in the marbled inlay work touching the surface to see how well the stones fitted in their grooves.
Inside the chamber,she heard the famed 15 seconds echo and walked around the marbel screen,peeking at the tomb of Shah Jahan and Mumtaj as no visits are now allowed inside the screen.
She also had a riverside view of the city from the northern terrace of the monument.
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