Taj Mahal, Agra
The Taj, a timeless creation of Shahjahan, is a great tower of love built on the mausoleum of Mumtaz, the beloved begum of the emperor. The Indo-Persian white marble architecture is one of the most fascinating marvels in the world.
The Taj gets enthralls with its majestic glow under the autumn full moon and also in winter. It is an utter wonder under the starry-sky and a full moon. Equally fascinating is the break of dawn.
The Taj rapidly changes colours during sunrise-from milky white to silver and finally to a reddish pink. The best view of the Taj during sunset is available from the mosque at its west. Monsoon gives is yet another beauty.
Taj, the icon of India was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Arjunmand Bano Begum, popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1630. This sheer poetry in marble considered by many as the ‘eighth wonder of the medieval world’; is indeed the most extravagant monument ever made for love.
A garden laid by Raja Man Singh of Amber, on the banks the river Yamuna was chosen as the site for building the Taj.
Its construction started in 1632 and about 20,000 workers toiled for seventeen years to complete the enchanting mausoleum. This image of Islamic garden of paradise is said to have costed nearly 41 million rupees and 500 kg of gold.
Taj Mahal, Agra
Unlike other tombs, the taj is set on one side of the well laid out gardens measuring 300x300 metres, in the form of a quadrangular Charbagh style, with its square lawns separated by pathways, watercourses emanating from the central raised square pool and rows of fountains.
It is set on a 6 metres high marble plinth with four minarets at each corner of the plinth, rising to a height of 41.6 metres and crowned by a chhatri. The minarets are deliberately angled at 88 degrees outwards, so that during any calamity like, an earthquake, the minarets would fall away from the tomb.
The most striking dome of the Taj is with a diameter of 60 feet rises 80 feet over the building. Directly under the dome lies the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan’s tomb was built next to hers by his son Aurangzeb.
The Taj is worth more than a single visit as its sublimed beauty varies with seasons and of different time of the day.
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