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[Public Domain] 31 Jan 2006 Dylan O'Donnell
CATEGORY : Architecture
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The Taj Mahal is a type of islamic mosque, but specifically a mausoleum. It was built by Shah Jahan, for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1653. Jahan himself rests also in a mosque on the same site. Agra is a few hours from Delhi and is a bustling city filled with the pollution and garbage typical of most of North India. After a hard days travel through or to Agra, it is profoundly mesmerizing to witness this monument of marble rising into the sky. Other travelers I’d spoken to, however disillusioned or worn down they were by India generally, had nothing but good things to say about the Taj and once I’d seen it myself I had to agree. Normally, I’m not really a fan of buildings and spent much of my trail through India specifically avoiding tours of buildings and forts. The Taj Mahal however it something different, it is the eighth wonder of the world and deservedly so.
Other interesting things about the Taj include :
– Shah Jahan intended to be buried in a black version of the same building next to his wife’s mausoleum, but the hostility with his sons ensured this never happened.
– While some theorize that an Italian architect helped design the Taj Mahal, there is no evidence to confirm this. The Taj Mahal is the best example of Indo-persian architecture.
– There may be a third crypt in a secret basement below the Taj Mahal
– Evidence suggests the Taj Mahal is sinking.
– Taj Mahal translates to ”Crown of the Palace”
– The Taj Mahal changes colour as the sun moves across the sky.
In this photo, I really wanted to show the Taj from another angle, although the natural front side view is spectacular, it is iconic and has become part of our own subconscious symbolism through its use in popular culture, much like the Mona Lisa. Although perhaps not the best ”portrait” of the Taj Mahal, some sense of scale may be garnered by the family of 3 standing at the base and the proximity of the viewer to the base of the right hand tower.
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