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A trip to the Taj Mahal – a slide show

February 26, 2008
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This slideshow shows you the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The photographs of the Taj are taken from various distances and from different angles. The Taj in real life is sparkling white but you might notice that this doesn’t seem so in all the pictures and you can take it as a defect in the photograph. There are some photographs not of the Taj itself, but of the monuments around the Taj Mahal.

 

Information from the wiki:

The Taj Mahal (also “the Taj”) is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.” The Taj Mahal is also one of the seven wonders of the world.

Update: The Taj was built by the Mughals, and is made entirely of white marble. It was the Muslim Emperor Shah Jahan (died 1666 C.E.) who built this tomb, in memory of his dead wife, queen Mumtaz Mahal. It is said to have been constructed over a period of 22 years, employing twenty thousand workers. It was completed in 1648 C.E.

More: Theirs is indeed a very touching love story. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz fell in love at first sight when they were 15, married at 20 and were very much in love. She bore him 14 children. She died after giving birth to her 14th child at the age of 39. Shah Jahan was shattered, and according to popular history, this inspired him to build the Taj Mahal – in her memory.

(Photos were taken by my daughter and all images are copyrighted.

Related Viewing: On the Seven Wonders of the World
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22 Comments leave one →
  1. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 26, 2008 10:14 am

    Nita,

    Beautiful photographs, but you could have quoted from a better source than Wiki. β€œThe jewel of Muslim art in India” is a somewhat ill-informed phrase. “Mughal” would be more correct.

    Similarly, in the phrase “elements from Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles”, the terms “Indian” and “Islamic” are too vague.

  2. February 26, 2008 10:28 am

    Vivek, even as I was doing so I felt this. Will update this post soon.

  3. February 26, 2008 2:10 pm

    Nita, did you mean to say ‘a trip to tejo mahalaya‘?πŸ˜€

  4. February 26, 2008 2:21 pm

    Amit, haha! yeah I have heard of that story too (about the Taj being built by Hindus) but didn’t know there was a page in the wiki! somehow I never took the story seriously. don’t whether it’s the result of brainwashing or whether it’s all hogwash.πŸ™‚

    Vivek: I have updated the post, but could not get a better and equally authentic source for architectural styles, despite searching. If you have any reference, kindly pass it on. Thanks.

  5. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    February 26, 2008 3:08 pm

    Nita:

    It reads much better now, though the term “Indian” is still a bit vague. Will get back to you after double-checking my sources.

    Nita, Amit:

    As a teenager, I have actually heard P N Oak, the author of the “Tejomahalaya” thesis. Even in those days he had a lot of serious takers. I haven’t come across any mention of him in the last several years, but in the present political climate he would have been a hit. I am surprised the last government at the centre did not award him at least a Padma Vibhushan, if not the Bharat Ratna.

  6. February 26, 2008 3:32 pm

    Nita,

    Thanks for the photos.The Taj Mahal will always remain a wonder of the world . . . if we can prevent it from being damaged by industrial pollution.

  7. Vipul permalink
    February 26, 2008 4:03 pm

    An interesting piece of trivia that I had read …

    The Taj (including the 4 minarets) is a perfectly symmetrical structure with the spire on the dome as the central axis. Mumtaz’s tomb was also placed right in the middle to maintain the symmetry. The only non-symmetrical feature of the building is the tomb of Shah Jahan which was later added beside Mumtaz’s (and was not a part of the initial construction plan).

  8. Juhi permalink
    February 26, 2008 5:12 pm

    I m quite lucky to see Taj mohal in slide shows.It’s very nice.i hv been hearing it’s history since my childhood and i hv a secret desire to visit Taj Mohal.personally i think every true lovers should visit Taj Mohal at least once in their life.

  9. February 26, 2008 5:31 pm

    nita , have u heard about the tejo mahal theory
    had read something a yr agao

  10. February 26, 2008 5:32 pm

    oops didnt read comments

  11. February 26, 2008 7:47 pm

    Nita, I love your slide shows – always some fresh and authentic view, thanks for this pleasure!

    Unfortunately I had no chance yet to visit this jewel of architecture – but as Juhi says, it is a place fo true lovers to visit – I will see that I can go there with my husbandπŸ™‚
    Interesting share about the Tejo Mahalaya! – i followed the link. Very intersting indeed! – I wonder what do you, Nita, think of that??

  12. February 26, 2008 10:24 pm

    Juhi, thanks.
    Axinia, thanks.πŸ™‚ Hope you manage to visit the Taj on your next trip to India.
    Prax and Axinia, I don’t believe that theory about Tejo Mahalaya. But even if it had been possible and some sort of monument was there earlier, I doubt whether it was as beautiful as the Taj.

  13. February 27, 2008 3:16 am

    Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing them. It’s one place I’ve always wanted to visit.

    A link will definitely have to go into the Reader this week.πŸ™‚

  14. Guqin permalink
    February 27, 2008 4:06 am

    I am impressed by the decorations of the ceilings the most. They exhaust one’s visual imagination, like frozen firework.

  15. sheilawhittam permalink
    February 27, 2008 5:36 am

    How gorgous. To think that this place was built by a man to honour his deceased and loved wife and mother of his children. It makes me think of womens issues in India, and t the example to urge men to think higher of women.

  16. February 27, 2008 8:12 am

    Vipul, Raj, Gugin, Sheila, thanks.
    OG, it’s always an honour. πŸ™‚

  17. February 27, 2008 11:06 am

    Vivek, I came across PN Oak (and his claim) for the first time only recently – within the past 2-3 years. I was actually surprised that he wrote the book in the 70s as Indira Gandhi’s government banned the book. I’m no historian or archaeologist, and only an objective inquiry into his claims by experts will tell us one way or another (or if his claims have already been refuted by other experts) – but the chances of that happening in today’s social/political climate are nil.

  18. February 28, 2008 9:58 am

    Married at the age of 20 and produced 14 children in 19 years? I don’t understand what kind of love this was.

    Love of the ancients!!πŸ™‚ – Nita.

  19. wishtobeanon permalink
    February 28, 2008 7:01 pm

    Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing them.

    Welcome.πŸ™‚ – Nita.

  20. February 28, 2008 11:13 pm

    Married at the age of 20 and produced 14 children in 19 years? I don’t understand what kind of love this was.

    Shh…priyank. No criticism of the cash-cow please.πŸ˜‰
    Legends are better than truths when it comes to famous tourist attractions like these.πŸ™‚

  21. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    March 6, 2008 2:10 pm

    Priyank,

    If it were only a question of history and archaeology as the criteria for establishing authenticiy, one could still grant Oak the benefit of the doubt. But he went to the ridiculous extreme of creating a whole lot of dubious etymology to support his claims. “Tejomahalaya” is just one of the many such products of his imagination. He even claimed an Indian (i.e. Hindu) pedigree for the English language. An example that I can readily recall is that the Thames was originally “Tamasa”, and that the mlechchhas corrupted it from its pristine Sanskrit form.

  22. jhon permalink
    June 23, 2008 1:04 pm

    I’m impressed with you
    good and very informative article.πŸ™‚

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