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Taj Mahal Picture Gallery Go Back
 
We had our trip to Taj Mahal around December 2007. Weather was so cold. This was our one day trip from Delhi - Agra - Delhi. We started our journey morning 7:00 am and back home in evening around 8:00 pm. So I have taken some shots during this trip. As well as I have given more information about history of Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, India. It is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is widely considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and stands as a symbol of eternal love. Shah Jahan met Mumtaz Mahal and fell in love. He married her after five years and they were leading a very happy life. While giving birth to their last child, Mumtaz Mahal died due to some complications. A few years later Shah Jahan built the world's most beautiful monument "Taj Mahal" in the memory of his wife.One of the wonders of the world "Taj Mahal" has a beautiful love story behind its construction. Taj Mahal love story is about Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan, initially named Prince Khurram, took birth in the year 1592. The son of Jehangir, the fourth Mughal emperor of India, he fell in love in Arjumand Banu Begum at first time. At that time he was 14 years old and she, Muslim Persian princess, was 15. After meeting her, Shah Jahan went back to his father and declared that he wanted to marry her.

The match got solemnized after five years i.e., in the year 1612. Shah Jahan became the Emperor in the year 1628 and entrusted Arjumand Banu with the royal seal. He also bestowed her with the tile of Mumtaz Mahal, meaning the "Jewel of the Palace". Though Shah Jahan had other wives also, but, Mumtaz Mahal was his favorite and accompanied him everywhere, even on military campaigns. In the year 1631, when Mumtaz Mahal was giving birth to their 14th child, she died due to some complications.

As Mumtaz Mahal lay dying, she asked four promises from the emperor: first, that he build the Taj; second, that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary. He kept the first and second promises. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. The principal architect was the Iranian architect Istad Usa; it is possible that the pietra dura work was coordinated by an Italian artist.

It is said that Shah Mahal was so heartbroken after her death that he ordered the court into morning for two years. Some time after her death, Shah Jahan undertook the task of erecting the world's most beautiful monument in the memory of his beloved. It took 22 years and the labor of 22,000 workers to construct the monument, which is also said to be the last wish of Mumtaz Mahal. This magnificent monument came to be known as "Taj Mahal" and now counts amongst the Seven Wonders of the World.

The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest in Mughal architecture. As the surface area changes the decorations are refined proportionally. The decorative elements were created by applying paint, stucco, stone inlays, or carvings. In line with the Islamic prohibition against the use of anthropomorphic forms, the decorative elements can be grouped into either calligraphy, abstract forms or vegetative motifs.

On the lower walls of the tomb there are white marble dados that have been sculpted with realistic bas relief depictions of flowers and vines. The marble has been polished to emphasise the exquisite detailing of the carvings and the dado frames and archway spandrels have been decorated with pietra dura inlays of highly stylised, almost geometric vines, flowers and fruits. The inlay stones are of yellow marble, jasper and jade, polished and leveled to the surface of the walls.

The complex is set around a large 300-metre square charbagh or Mughal garden. The garden uses raised pathways that divide each of the four quarters of the garden into 16 sunken parterres or flowerbeds. A raised marble water tank at the center of the garden, halfway between the tomb and gateway with a reflecting pool on a north-south axis, reflects the image of the mausoleum. The raised marble water tank is called al Hawd al-Kawthar, in reference to the "Tank of Abundance" promised to Muhammad. Elsewhere, the garden is laid out with avenues of trees and fountains.

The Taj Mahal complex is bounded on three sides by crenellated red sandstone walls, with the river-facing side left open. Outside the walls are several additional mausoleums, including those of Shah Jahan's other wives, and a larger tomb for Mumtaz's favorite servant. These structures, composed primarily of red sandstone, are typical of the smaller Mughal tombs of the era. The garden-facing inner sides of the wall are fronted by columned arcades, a feature typical of Hindu temples which was later incorporated into Mughal mosques. The wall is interspersed with domed chattris, and small buildings that may have been viewing areas or watch towers like the Music House, which is now used as a museum.

This is the true story of the Taj Mahal of India, which has mesmerized many people with its bewitching beauty.
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