Friday, August 28, 2009

Moon light view of the Taj Mahal Agra | Mumtaz Mahal

Taj Mahal at Night - The Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the most romantic monuments in the world to honor love and companionship of Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan after the demise of his much-loved wife Mumtaz Mahal, this white marble mausoleum is considered a monument of everlasting love. Lovers from across the world, come to see this architectural marvel and admire its radiant beauty and get mesmerized by it mysterious charm. The white marble surface of the Taj Mahal changes its manifestation with the passing of the seasons. It glows brightly in the sunlight in summer and reflects the grey-clouded sky during the monsoon. Under the light of the full moon however, the Taj Mahal is said to reveal its paramount charm - shimmering like a fairytale castle built for a legendary princess.

Tourists are now allowed to view the Taj Mahal by moonlight. The dome is made of white marble, but the tomb is set against the plain across the river Yamuna and it is this mystical backdrop that works its magic of colors that, through their reflection, change the view of the Taj. The colors change at dissimilar hours of the day and during different seasons. Like a jewel. The Taj sparkles in moonlight when the semi-precious stones inlaid into the white marble on the chief mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. The Taj looks pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes, they say, symbolize the special moods of woman.

Traveling to Taj Mahal Agra:

By Road - Agra is well-connected by road to Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gwalior andJhansi. Air-conditioned and non-air conditioned express buses ply to and from this places. Those who are planning a road journey to Taj Mahal, needs to know thatAgra is 200 km from Delhi.

By Air - There are daily flights of Indian Airlines that operate between Delhi andAgra. Kheria Airport in Agra is just about 6 km away from the center of then Agracity. You can hire a taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the Taj Mahal.

By Rail - Agra and Delhi are inter-connected with a good network of railways. The Shatabdi Express, Taj Express and Intercity Express provide excellent service.

The nearby railway stations are the Agra Cantonment Railway Station, Raja-ki-Mundi Railway Station and the Agra Fort Railway Station. Train is by far the most convenient way to reach the Taj Mahal Agra.

Taj Mahal Tombs | Tour of Agra

tomb in Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is world famous for its magnificent grandeur and majestic structure. There are many things in this beautiful edifice which hold everybody's attention alike. And of those many things, the main focus of course lies in Taj Mahal Tombs. The white marble tombs in Taj Mahal boast of usual Mughal patterns where the basic elements are that of Persian style. Following Mughal pattern, the tomb has a symmetrical building with an iwan, a curve-shaped entrance, topped by a large dome. Tombs in Taj Mahal is set on a square pedestal. The base structure in the tomb is very large and is a many chambered structure. Of the various chambers, the main chamber has the cenotaphs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

The base of the tomb in Taj Mahal is a cube shape which has furrowed margins. The length of this cubicle is 55 meters on each side. However, on the long sides massive vaulted archway borders the iwan (vaulted hall or space, surrounded with walls on three sides, with one end entirely open) along with a curve shaped balcony above. The main arches stretch above the roof of the building with integrated fa├žade and additional pishtaqs are built above and below the main arches to provide a complete uniform look. Apart from the exquisite base, another magnetic feature of the Tombs in Taj Mahal is its marble dome. The dome is about 35 meter. Its height looks emphasized because it is located on a cylindrical "drum" which is about 7 m high. This dome is also famous as onion dome for its unique shape. On the top of this dome, a lotus design is made to add to the beauty of the shape.

Besides, the main dome shape is punctuated by four smaller domed chattris or kiosks placed at its corners. The chattri domes duplicate the onion shape of main dome. There are tall decorative steeples or guldastas stretching from the edges of the base walls to provide visual emphasis to dome height. And the lotus motif is repeated on both the chattris and guldastas. The main dome is topped by a gilded spire or finial. The gilded spire is made of bronze. This spire is an integration of traditional Islamic and Hindu decorative elements. It is crowned by a moon (a typical Islamic motif). And the Hindu element is reflected in the horns of the moon and the finial point which combine to create a trident shape (symbol of the traditional Hindu God Shiva). Also, the spire has a number of bulbous forms which are similar to sacred water vessel of Hindus called Kalash or kumbh.

Taj Mahal Garden

taj mahal garden

Stars Garden in Taj

Stars Garden in Taj

Visit to Taj Mahal - Taj Mahal, the symbol of love, is adorned with a lovely garden. This garden is called Charbagh. It is a typical Mughal garden which divided into four parts. Every part of the garden is split into sixteen beds of flower. Other than flower beds the Garden is furnished with elevated pathways, boulevards of trees, pool and fountains. There is a marble water tank at the middle of the garden which is situated in-between the Taj Mahal Mausoleum and the Gateway. Taj Mahal tomb has a beautiful reflection on the water of the tank. The innovative design of the garden was first initiated by the first Mughal emperor Babur. He was influenced by the Persian gardens.

The Charbagh is a symbolic architecture and meant to replicate the Garden of Paradise. According to the Islamic view Paradise garden have four rivers that parted the garden into four parts North, South, East and West. The first river is of water and other three rivers are respectively of milk, wine and honey. The Mughal charbaghs generally have the symmetrical pattern where the main tomb is situated at the middle of garden. But there is a little difference in case of Taj Mahal Garden. Here the Taj Mahal mausoleum is located at the far end of the garden. There is another garden at the other side of the Jamuna River which is revealed very recently offers a different meaning that Jamuna has integrated into the garden and becomes one of the rivers of Paradise. This garden is called Mahtab Bagh or "Moonlight Garden".

Taj Mahal Gateway


AGR Agra - Taj Mahal sandstone gateway to the inner compound with ornamental gardens

AGR Agra - Taj Mahal vaulted arche embellished with pietra dura scrollwork and quotations from the Quran

AGR Agra - Taj Mahal sandstone gateway to the inner compound

AGR Agra - red sandstone mosque to the west of the Taj Mahal

Architectural Beauty of Taj Mahal Gateway - 30 meter high entrance of the Taj Mahal itself is an architectural marvel. There are three gateways which are surrounded the seventh wonder in three sides. These gates are made of red sandstone, a common material of Mughal architecture. The top of the Gateway is dome shaped which is called chhatris. The inner part of the Gateway is arch shaped. The principle Gateway is mirrored archways with splendid calligraphic design. Base-relief and pietra-dura embellishments with floral theme enhance the beauty of the Gateway. Visit to Taj Mahal - There are other monuments situated outside the Gateway. These are the tombs of Shah Jahan's other wives. Among them the larger tomb is the tomb of Mumtaz's favorite servant.

The ceiling and walls have typical geometrical pattern. At the other end there are two big red sandstone buildings. Back portion of these two buildings are parallel to the western and eastern walls. These buildings are identical to each other. The western building is a mosque. At the opposite of this there is the "jawab" or answer which was used as the guesthouse during the Mughal period.