Saturday, 12 May 2012

Taj Mahal in INDIA

Taj Mahal: The Epitome of Love

                                       THE TAJ MAHAL

In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later.  


Bird eye view of TAJ MAHAL


WHERE IS THE TAJ MAHAL



 

Type                           :  Cultural
Elevation                   :  171 m (561 ft)
Spread Over              :  42 acres
Significance              :  One of the seven wonder of the world
Build                          :   1632–1653
Built by                      :   Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Architecture              :  Ustad Ahemad Lahauri
Architectural style    :  Mughal
Visitors                      :  More than 4 million
Location                    :  Agra
Country                     :  India

Taj Mahal Location

Standing majestically on the banks of River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is synonymous with love and romance. It is believed that the name "Taj Mahal" was derived from the name of Shah Jahan wife Mumtaz Mahal and means "Crown Palace". The purity of the white marble, the exquisite ornamentation, precious gemstones used and its picturesque location, all make Taj Mahal travel gain a place amongst the most popular ones. However, unless and until, one knows the love story behind the Tajmahal of India, it will come up as just a beautiful building. But, the love behind this outstanding monument is what has given a life to this monument. 

Location: On the banks of river Yamuna in Agra
Year of Construction: 1631-1653
Built By: Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Spread Over: 42 acres
Significance: One of the Seven Wonders of the World

Interior decoration

Jali screen surrounding the cenotaphs

 

Tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal


Cenotaphs, interior of Taj Mahal

history of the taj mahal
The interior chamber of the Taj Mahal steps far beyond traditional decorative elements. Here, the inlay work is not pietra dura, but a lapidary of precious and semiprecious gemstones. The inner chamber is an octagon with the design allowing for entry from each face, although only the door facing the garden to the south is used.
The interior walls are about 25 metres (82 ft) high and are topped by a "false" interior dome decorated with a sun motif. Eight pishtaq arches define the space at ground level and, as with the exterior, each lower pishtaq is crowned by a second pishtaq about midway up the wall. The four central upper arches form balconies or viewing areas, and each balcony's exterior window has an intricate screen or jali cut from marble. In addition to the light from the balcony screens, light enters through roof openings covered by chattris at the corners. Each chamber wall has been highly decorated with dado bas-relief, intricate lapidary inlay and refined calligraphy panels, reflecting in miniature detail the design elements seen throughout the exterior of the complex.
The octagonal marble screen or jali which borders the cenotaphs is made from eight marble panels which have been carved through with intricate pierce work. The remaining surfaces have been inlaid in extremely delicate detail with semi-precious stones forming twining vines, fruits and flowers.
Muslim tradition forbids elaborate decoration of graves. Hence, the bodies of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan were put in a relatively plain crypt beneath the inner chamber with their faces turned right and towards Mecca. Mumtaz Mahal's cenotaph is placed at the precise center of the inner chamber on a rectangular marble base of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) by 2.5 metres (8 ft 2 in).
Both the base and casket are elaborately inlaid with precious and semiprecious gems. Calligraphic inscriptions on the casket identify and praise Mumtaz. On the lid of the casket is a raised rectangular lozenge meant to suggest a writing tablet. Shah Jahan's cenotaph is beside Mumtaz's to the western side, and is the only visible asymmetric element in the entire complex. His cenotaph is bigger than his wife's, but reflects the same elements: a larger casket on a slightly taller base, again decorated with astonishing precision with lapidary and calligraphy that identifies him. On the lid of this casket is a traditional sculpture of a small pen box.
The pen box and writing tablet were traditional Mughal funerary icons decorating the caskets of men and women respectively. The Ninety Nine Names of God are found as calligraphic inscriptions on the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, in the crypt including "O Noble, O Magnificent, O Majestic, O Unique, O Eternal, O Glorious... ". The tomb of Shah Jahan bears a calligraphic inscription that reads; "He traveled from this world to the banquet-hall of Eternity on the night of the twenty-sixth of the month of Rajab, in the year 1076 Hijri."



Arch of Jali
 Detail of Pietra dura jali inlay 

 Delicate pierce work








Detail of Jali



TAJ MAHAL IN SUNRISE
 


Watching the sun rise up from under the sea of sky is a sight to behold, and what better way to experience it than to watch it take its place up there while you stand on the premises of one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It's a moment of delight when the beauty of the sunrise and the Taj Mahal culminate together to make for some awe-inspiring images of the Taj, being transformed from soft grey and pink to a soft red glow.

TAJ MAHAL IN SUNSET
After shining its glory all through the day, when the sun climbs down the stairway of heavens and gets ready to say adios to the world, it plays its final trick in the book by lending Taj Mahal a different appearance with the shades of fiery yellow being transformed into soft exotic orange and finally to pearl white again, until the full moon prepares itself to accompany the Taj all through the night while dazzling the world with its quiet heavenly elegance.

TAJ MAHAL IN FULL MOON NIGHT
By the night when the full moon is high up in the sky, the beauty that Taj Mahal breathes out is beyond the scope of words. A silver glow that takes over Taj Mahal is so mesmerizing that most of the things you'll see after that will feel ordinary at best. This fabulous interplay of colors all through the day, and then night, symbolically implies the presence of God, who is never represented in the anthropomorphic form.

The best time to arrive would be just before the sunrise or sunset. Night viewing is allowed on the full moon night, two days before it and two days after it. Tickets for the same need to be booked one day in advance.

BEST TIME TO VISIT: October to March
  
HOW TO REACH TAJ MAHAL
By Air
The fastest way of reaching Taj Mahal, Agra is by air. The city of Taj, Agra, has its own airport that is around 7 km from the city center. Indian Airlines operates flights to Agra on a daily basis.

By Rail
There is a good network of trains connecting Agra with the rest of the country. Apart from the main railway station of Agra Cantonment, there are other two stations also, that of Raja-ki-Mundi and Agra Fort. The main trains connecting Agra with Delhi are Palace on Wheels, Shatabdi, Rajdhani, and Taj Express.

By Road
There are regular bus services from Agra to a number of important cities. The main bus stand of Idgah has a number of buses running for Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Fatehpur-Sikri, etc.

Local Transportation
After reaching the city also, you need some sort of local transport to reach Taj Mahal. You can easily get taxi, tempo, auto-rickshaw and cycle rickshaw in the city that will take you to your destination. Prepaid taxis are also available if you want to visit the various places near the city. For the adventurous kind, there are bicycles that can be hired on hourly basis from different parts of the city. Since diesel and petrol vehicle are not permitted in the vicinity of Taj Mahal area, you can find battery-operated buses, horse-driven tongas, rickshaws and other pollution-free vehicles there.

see more........ 
                                                    TAJ MAHAL IN SUNRISE





TAJ MAHAL IN SUNSET


TAJ MAHAL IN FULL MOON NIGHT 
       night view of taj mahal at full moonlight
taj mahal on full moon night




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