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Visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World : The Taj Mahal

By on June 23, 2017

“White Sheets of Still Water Under a Half Moonlight” – That’s one of the best ways to describe the beauty that Taj Mahal is. A land that adds history to the Indian Architecture, Taj Mahal can be rightly called the love of many. One of the seven wonders of the world, this palace is situated on the banks of the River Yamuna.

A representation of the great Mughal Heritage of India, the monument is known as the symbol of eternity of love. Take a journey back to the magnanimous Mughal Empire as its offers an everlasting expression of emotion with its beautiful architecture. The monument was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute of love to his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

The Taj Mahal is more than 350 years old and was built  in the 17th. This beautiful memorial is considered as a gem in the crown of the Mughal Architecture and Heritage. Shah Jahan commissioned the work of the Mahal among 20,000 workers and built the monument in a rough estimate of 22 years completely.

FUN FACT: It was said that the hands of these 20,000 workers were cut off after completion of the monument, so they could never build a monument as Taj Mahal again.

The Architecture:

An Iranian Architect named Istad Usa had assisted the workers in building this wonder. The complex comprises of five main elements, namely, Darwaaza (The main gateway), The Bageecha (The Taj Gardens) covered with lush green  flora and scented flowers, a Masjid built with red sandstone and Naqqar Khaana also known as the Rest House.

Built with snow-white marble, the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal offers a peaceful vibe around the mahal and is one of the most popular attraction of the monument in whole. The most spectacular feature is the marble dome that surmounts the tomb. The dome is rightly called as Onion Dome or Amrud Dome, for its shape.

The four minarets of the Taj Mahal frame the tomb. Falsified Sarcophagi of the tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal are placed on the upper level of the Mahal, while the actual tomb are placed on the lower level.

The main marble dome, decorative spires and smaller domes extend from the edges of the base walls. These walls are intricately carved. The main finial of the Taj Mahal was originally made of Gold but was replaced with gilded-bronze in the early 19th century, as a part of the preservation and conservation of the heritage.

Other architectural beauties found at the monument are the plant motifs, reflective tiles, lattice-work marbles, calligraphy on the exterior walls. The insides of the walls have passages from the Quran mentioned on them. This adds to the heritage of the Mughal Empire, in whole.

FUN FACT:

Legend has it said, that Shah Jahan had decided to construct another Taj Mahal in black marble on the other side of the River Yamuna and connect the two by a bridge. The structure was intended to be Shah Jahan’s tomb. The war with his sons interrupted his plan and Aurangzeb who reign at that time disposed to complete it.

Tourism in and around Taj Mahal:

UNESCO has documented a total of 7-8 billion tourists annually at The Taj Mahal. The best time to visit this monument is in the cooler months of October, November and February. A nominal entrance fee is required to be paid by the Indian and foreign visitors visiting this monument.

Timings to visit:

The Taj Mahal is open from 6 AM to 7 PM on weekdays, except Fridays when the complex is open for prayers between 12 to 2 in the afternoon. The complex is also open for night viewing on full moon days excluding Fridays and the month of Ramadan.

What to bring and avoid:

Due to security reasons, a tourist is only allowed to bring the following items with them. Still Cameras, Small Video Cam, Mobile Phone,  Water in Transparent Bottles, and small-sized ladies purses.

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June 23, 2017

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