by a grief stricken Emperor Shah Jehan as a memorial to his beloved wife Mumtaj
Mahal , the Taj Mahal has a structural elegance and pristine beauty that has
been rarely matched .
It took 20 thousand men nearly 22 years to build the mausoleum and the finest
of skilled artisans were brought in to inlay the white marble edifice with precious
stones and to conjure filigreed marble screens around the centaphs of the emperor
and his beloved queen . there is a jewel -like quality about the taj mahal .
The beautiful proportioned octagonal structure topped by a perfect dome is balanced
by 4 soaring minarets that stand at the corners of the plinth .
The taj mahal is ethereal at any part of the day - blushing in the rosy glow
of down or sunset , appearing like a pearly mirage in the moonlight or reflected
in the pools of the garden . perhaps the most moving view of the taj is from
an octogonal tower in the agra fort further along the river yamuna . It was
here that the emperor shah jehan was imprisoned and wherehe spent his last day
gazing at the tomb of his beloved wife .
It is said that he had planned to build a similar tomb for himself in black
marble across the river - but it was not to be
Timings: 10 am. to 5 pm.
Original drawings available here show the precision with which the architect
had planned this monument. He even anticipated that it would be completed in
22 years. Drawings of the interiors show the position of the graves in such
precision that the foot of the graves faces the viewer from any angle. Many
more such breathtaking collections are here which can also be seen.
THE MOSQUE & THE JAWAB
To the left of the Taj is a mosque made of red sandstone. It is common in Islam
to build a mosque next to a tomb. as it sanctifies the area and provides for
a place for worship. This mosque is still used for Friday prayers.
An identical mosque is also built to the right of the Taj and is known as the
Jawab (answer). Prayers are not held here as it faces west i.e. away from Mecca.
the holy city of the Muslims. It was built to maintain symmetry.