Many travelers name Taj Mahal as the most beautiful building that has ever existed in the world history. Some argue that it is worth traveling to the other end of the world only to see it. Shades of the Taj Mahal in India, covered with marble, vary from hour to hour, from one season to another. The story of Taj Mahal began when the mourning ruler of Mughal, Emperor Shah Jahan, built this building around 1600 as the last resting place for his beloved queen. He wanted to immortalize the memory of her. It took 22 years and 22,000 people for the Taj Mahal to be completed.
In today’s money it would cost about 100 million dollars. It cost a lot Emperor Jahan as well. Having emptied the treasury, Jahan was overthrown, and locked up for the last nine years of his life. From his prison premises he could see the miracle where his lady laid, and where, eventually, he would be buried himself. Taj Mahal is a blend of many artistic styles, including Hindu, Persian, Mughal, and Muslim. It is the co-creation of different people who have contributed to the project during different periods of twenty years of building this monument. This world wonder of architecture is truly priceless. No one today would be able to assemble craftsmen, in India or abroad, who could measure in skill and talent with those who have built this monument of love. Craftsmen and materials originate not only from India, but from China and Italy as well. Large octagonal chamber is repeated twice. One floor is directly below the other. Both chambers contain two sarcophagi covered with jewels, one for the king, and the other for the queen. Those in the upper room are for display. In those in the bottom room are the remains of the king and the queen. These two areas have interesting acoustic – even a whisper can be heard from one end of the room to another. Almost everything related to this amazing building is symmetrical. The striking exception is the sarcophagus of King Jahan, which isn’t in the middle, unlike the queen’s, that is perfectly centered. Much of the walls are decorated with gentle floral and calligraphic patterns inlaid with semiprecious stones. Four tall and slender minarets rise from the four corners. They are, unintentionally, leaning toward outside, so in case of earthquakes, would fall off the main part of the structure. The building lies on a wide, but massive red platform of sandstones, which causes a small floating effect. The reflecting pools and gardens in front of this beautiful building emphasize the visual charm of the place. The opening of the magnificent main gate gives visitors a dramatically shaped impression of the Taj Mahal.
The periods from March to April or from October to mid-December are ideal for visiting this monumental building. It is not recommended to visit Taj Mahal during the monsoon season, which is from July to mid-September, while temperatures can be very high from April to June. At the time around the full moon, you can expect very large tourist crowds. Taj Mahal was built in the city of Agra, about 200 kilometers south of New Delhi, the capital of India. It can be easily reached – by rail, road or air transport. The air pollution that comes from factories, cars and other sources, gradually but surely erodes this world architectural wonder. However, the Indian government now does everything in its power in order to eliminate this serious problem.
Photo by: Joakant