Taj Mahal is spectacular. The large marble dome on top has two small domes on the flanks. There are two minarets on either side. The openings on the walls are also symmetric. It is just wonderful.
Taj Mahal is a massive structure. Its height is 73 metres, as tall as the Qutab Minar. The complex of buildings and gardens stands on land of over 22.44 hectares (55.5 acres). The construction has used ivory-white marble, inlaid with semi-precious stones. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the construction in 1632 in memory of his beloved begum, Mumtaz Mahal.
The mausoleum changes colour during course of the day. At noon, it is pearly white. In the evenings, the marble takes on a pinkish hue from the setting sun. On a full moon night, it will look entirely different but I have not had the chance to experience it. Taj Mahal is a photographers’ delight. From whatever angle you shoot, the picture comes out looking good.
Exterior Decorations in Taj Mahal
The external decorations here are among the best tin Mughal architecture. Calligraphy of Persian poems and abstracts from the Quran can be seen in many places. Decorations make extensive use of plant motifs and abstract forms.
Taj Mahal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983. It was deemed “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. The site showcases the best of Mughal architecture in India. It is also one of the seven wonders of the world. It attracts millions of visitors every year.
On the west bank of the Yamuna looms Taj Mahal. It is downstream from Agra Fort where the Yamuna makes a sharp turn. Visitors can view Yamuna from the river-front terrace. There are concerns that there is a threat to Taj Mahal due to pollution in the Yamuna. The river merges with the Ganga at Triveni Sangam in Allahabad.
Rabindranath Tagore had said: “The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.”
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