Taj Mahal, India
Taj Mahal In Agra (India)
India's most famous architectural wonder, in a land where magnificent temples and edificies abound to remind visitors about the rich civilization of a country that is slowly but surely lifting itself into an industrialized society. Taj Mahal stands on the bank of River Yamuna, which otherwise serves as a wide most defending the Great Red Fort of Agra, the center of the Mughal emperors until they moved their capital to Delhi in 1637.
History OF Taj Mahal
It was built by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess. She died while accompanying her husband in Burhanpur in a campaign to crush a rebellion after giving birth to their 14th child. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport it to the site. It was designed by the Iranian architect Ustad Isa and it is best appreciated when the architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion that inspired it. It is a "symbol of eternal love".
Architecture of Taj Mahal
The dome is made of white marble, but the tomb is set against the plain across the river and it is this background that works its magic of colours that, through their reflection, change the view of the Taj. The colours change at different hours of the day and during different seasons. The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes, they say, depict the different moods of woman.
Different looks of Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal in the Morning
The glory of the monument is strangely undiminished by the crowds of tourists who visit each day, as small and insignificant as ants in the face of this immense and captivating monument. That said, the Taj is at its most alluring in the relative quiet of early morning, shrouded in mists and bathed with a soft red glow. As its vast marble surfaces fall into shadow or reflect the sun, its colour changes, from soft grey and yellow to pearly cream and dazzling white; it's well worth visiting at different times. This play of light is an important decorative device, symbolically implying the presence of Allah, who is never represented in anthropomorphic form.
Beauty of Taj Mahal during Day
The Taj Mahal shows a different aspect of beauty at different times of the day. The sight of the Taj awash with the subtle pinks of dawn is an unforgettable sight.
Taj Mahal at Sunset
Sunsets stain the Taj an exotic shade of orange. But nothing beats the poignant beauty of the Taj seen when the cool white marble is bathed in the soft silver light of the moon. Even in the bright light of the day, this wonder of the world shines with an awe-inspiring loveliness. Try arriving just as it opens or is about to close. A few minutes alone in the perpetually echoing inner sanctum will reward you far more than several hours spent on a guided tour.
Taj Mahal Timings and Entry Fee
The Archaeological Survey of India has decided that Taj Mahal will remain closed on Fridays for the public except for those who go for afternoon prayers in the mosque next to the 17th century monument. The Taj will remain open from 6 am-7 pm every day except Fridays. Entry costs Rs 970 for Foreigners and for Indians during the sunrise and sunset entry costs Rs 110 and during the daytime Rs 20/-. On Fridays, people will be allowed to go for the customary prayers between 1200 hrs 1400 hrs at the mosque in the Taj Mahal complex.