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Taj Mahal as seen from Agra Fort
View of Taj over Yamuna River from Agra Fort
Darwaza-i-rauza is one of the components of the Taj Mahal complex, with the mausoleum, the mosque and the guest pavilion. It is the gateway to the gardens which, symbolically, represents Paradise. It is also called the "Great Gate".
Taj Mahal - Main Gateway
The view south, from the platform at the northern end of the complex towards the main gate, across the garden. Other than serving the purely compositional purpose of providing a means by which one can see the refection of the Taj, the river at the center of the garden is symbolic of the rivers that are said to flow in heaven in the Koran. Throughout much if its existence the garden has been much less orderly than it is now, with many more large trees.
The main gateway of the Taj Mahal
The main gateway of the Taj Mahal is one of the five main elements of this magnificent monument. Adorned with Hindu motifs, the Taj gateway is a tall niche doorway in the shape of an ogival arch that rises till the mid-height of the structure. With a vertical symmetry, the main gateway of Taj Mahal stands bordered with Arabic calligraphy of verses from the Quran, made up of black stone
The decorations on the main gate of the Taj Mahal
The decorations on the main gate of the Taj Mahal are magnificent, but do not derogate from the rule for all other buildings in the complex, namely that they are either floral or plant motifs, or reproductions of verses of the Koran.
Writings at the Taj Mahal, the main archway
Similar to the writings found at the Taj Mahal, the main archway was inscribed with stylized calligraphy — comprising black marble inlaid into white — attributed to Abd ul-Haq of Shiraz, Iran, who migrated to India in 1609 and was awarded the title “Amanat Khan” by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It bears the inscription, “O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you.”
The Gateway To The Taj Mahal
This gate way is an octagonal entrance hall, surrounded by small rooms on both the sides of the floors having beautifully ornamented gates on two sides, one opening towards the court yard side and the other towards the Mausoleum itself. On the three sides of this gateway, there are strong balconies. The Gateway is a master piece of fine inlay work in itself.
Taj from Main Gateway
First sight of Taj from the main Gateway
View of Taj through main entrance
It is a [piece of] heaven of the colour of dawn's bright face
he garden (bagh-i firdaus-a'in) of the Taj complex is laid out as a cross-axial chahar bagh: a large square divided into four equal quadrants by two large primary intersecting walkways (khiyaban). Each of these quadrants is further divided into four sections by smaller secondary intersecting walkways. The primary cross-axial walkways all terminate at an outer peripheral walkway that frames the garden as a whole. A shallow water canal (nahar) runs along the centre of the primary walkways
Taj Mahal Mausoleum
The Taj Mahal mausoleum is the central focus of the entire complex. It is a large, white marble structure standing on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan (an arch-shaped doorway) topped by a large dome and finial. Like most Mughal tombs, the basic elements are Persian in origin. Four minarets frame the tomb, one at each corner of the plinth facing the chamfered corners.
Reflection of Taj in its garden fountain
The reflecting pool at the Taj Mahal is one of the most popular in the world and is a famous spot to catch the perfect photo of this world wonder. The reflection of the sublime structure of the Taj Mahal in a perfectly still body of water catches one’s eye before one sees the original structure.
Taj from a rare angle
An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage
Reflection of Taj in the river Yamuna
The calm water of the river Yamuna provides a mirror and the shimmering reflections give the feeling of a 'floating tomb'
Taj Mahal - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
An immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.
View of Taj from Basement
The architecture of Taj Mahal is considered as the finest specimen of Mughal style of architecture. The architecture of Taj Mahal is highly inspired from different styles of architecture, which includes Persian, Indian and Turkish. Considered as a world heritage monument and one of the wonders of the world, Taj Mahal architecture is truly splendid and one of its kind in the world. The design & layout of Taj Mahal never fails to enrapture architects, engineers, historians as well as common man.
The Taj Mahal has a sense of peace and harmony which is mainly caused by the structure’s near-perfect symmetry, the main dome and surrounding minarets. The perfect geometry of the complex is what leaves a visitor in awe and is so perfect that one cannot find a single element out of place adding to the structure’s grandeur. The symmetry of the Taj Mahal makes a statement of absoluteness which is a mark of architectural superiority and reflects universal harmony.
Four Minarets and One Central Dome
Minarets hold a lot of significance in Islamic architecture. The word “minaret” comes from Arabic and means a place of light. Also, the Muslim call for prayer is given from the top of minarets symbolizing spiritual guidance. The Taj Mahal is surrounded by four minarets of equal height that lean slightly outwards to protect the tomb in case they collapse during a natural disaster. Minarets were not used in Mughal architecture before Shah Jahan and were introduced by him.
Taj from the river side
Detail of plant motifs on Taj Mahal wall
Qur’anic verses inscribed into the walls of the building and designs inlaid with semi-precious stones—coral, onyx, carnelian, amethyst, and lapis lazuli—add to the splendor of the Taj’s white exterior. The dominant theme of the carved imagery is floral, showing some recognizable, and other fanciful species of flowers—another link to the theme of paradise
Detail of plant motifs on Taj Mahal wall
Stone inlay work on the side of the pishtaq. The Taj is famous for it's pietra dura, or hard stone inlay work, which had been imported from Italy during this period. However, it's often claimed that all of the inlay work on the mausoleum is pietra dura, when the decorations on the exterior of the tomb employ methods which had been known to local craftsmen for quite some time, as evidenced by the other tombs in the area, such as Akbar's and the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah.
Crown of the Palaces
The Exquisite Walls of the Taj Mahal
In order to add a holy aura to the place, the walls of the monument are covered with beautiful calligraphy and pietra dura. Pietra dura is a method of inlaying marble with precious stones like amber, coral, jade, and lapis lazuli. Since Islam condemns anthropomorphic art, the walls are carefully decorated with abstract art and vegetative motifs. Multiple techniques are used for the adornment of these walls including; mosaic art, murals, and incised painting.
Calligraphy of Arabic Ayaat.
Looking towards the pishtak of the Taj. In Islamic architecture the rather undignified term pishtaq refers to an arched opening, which in this case leads into a rectangular gathering space inside the mausoleum called an Iwan.
Taj Mahal is just not a marble stone structure; it is a living legend of love and art
The Interiors of Taj Mahal Are Adorned with Holy Calligraphy
Taj Shining in the glory of sunset rays
Finial, tamga of the Mughal Empire
On the top of the dome, one can see a bronze spire. It was supposed to be made of solid gold until it was plundered after the Mughal rule declined in the 19th Century. Again, one can see a blend of Persian and Hindu design on the finial. The finial is topped by a crescent shaped moon whose horns point towards the heavens above. Since it is place on a vertical spear like structure, it reminds one of the symbol of Lord Shiva.
The guest house (Mihman Khana)
The Mihman Khana, also known as "Naqqar Khana" or "Jawab" was originally used as a rest home for guests on the anniversaries of the death of Mumtaz Mahal. It also served as a gathering place for those who came to pray in the mosque or directly on the deceased's tomb.
The rest house is also made of red sandstone like the mosque and with a white marble facing, offers a spectacular look to the entire building. The rest house also has dominant portals known as Iwan; there are small Iwan on both sides of the rest house, each with a decorative marble dome of floral carvings. The pinnacles of the rest house Iwan depict lotus flowers while the small domes of the kiosks come with marble veneer.
One of the lesser known structures inside the complex, the Mehman Khana pleases its visitors with intricate marble inlay work and floral decorations on the walls and ceilings made up of red sandstone.
tombs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan
Islamic scriptures forbid any inscriptions and decorations on the tomb. That is why despite the exuberant exteriors of the Taj Mahal, the actual room in which the tombs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan now rest is devoid of any stucco work in the walls.
tombs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan
The main chamber houses the replica of the cenotaphs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaj Mahal which is surrounded by an octagonal jali screen which is carved with intricate piece of work with precious stones forming vines, fruits and flowers.
Four minarets frame the tomb, one at each corner of the plinth facing the chamfered corners. The mai
In the centre are the cenotaphs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's cenotaph is to the left and is higher than that of his beloved which rests immediately below the dome.
Grave of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal
Shah Jahan was buried next to Mumtaz Mahal in the Taj Mahal but speculators believe that he never intended to be buried there. His cenotaph is a blemish in the otherwise perfect symmetry of the Taj. While Mumtaz's cenotaph rests in the center of the tomb, Shah Jahan's lies right next to her (off-center) leading people to believe that it was not a part of the original, perfectly symmetrical design.
Taj Mahal dazzles on river Yamuna
Sunset Glory of Taj over Yamuna River
Another view of Taj over river Yamuna
One of the four spectacular chatris
One of the four spectacular chatris that are positioned at each corner of the larger, red sandstone platform that the mausolem, the mosque, and the mehmankhana are on top of.
Taj minarets in the dusk
A view of one of the minarets that are positioned on the four corners of the tomb platform. Apparently over the years several of the pillars have developed a slight outward tilt, though the Archaeological Survey of India doesn't expect any of the minarets to topple over anytime soon. The black strips of stone in between the marble slabs on the side of the pillar are actually inlaid. The minarets are largely made of either rubble or bricks, with an outside layering of marble.
Taj Mahal at twilight - a never to forget experience
Visiting the Taj Mahal during Full Moon Nights - An Experience like no other in the World
Taj Mahal glows like a diamond in the moonlight, and when you see this spellbinding beauty you will never understand how the time has passed and this night is considered to be the most romantic night for lovers.
Peacocks walked around the Taj
Peacocks in India are symbols of glory, beauty and poise. Its splendid beauty has inspired many Indian poems and songs. It is believed when a peacock dances and displays its impressive plumage, it’s a sign of incoming rains.
Peacocks walked around the Taj
The famous Peacock throne built by the Mughal monarch Shah Jahan represents the artistic accomplishments of the Mughal Empire.
peacock pose in the backdrop of Taj
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