Taj Mahal, Agra

UNESCO describes the Taj Mahal as “an immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memorey of his favorite wife…The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India…”  Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth while delivering their 14th child.

Inside the mausoleum rests Mumtaz Mahal, the Queen, and Shah Jahan, the Emperor.  The beautiful marble inlay tombs are in a center room and surrounded by a marble enclosure. It was kept very dark and no pictures were allowed although their were many flashes going off.  I didn’t take a picture, but you can google to see the tombs.

On either side of the mausoleum are two almost identical red sandstone buildings. To the lef,t a mosque and to the right, an assembly/guest hall.  

History Channel article and short video clips about the Taj Mahal:    http://www.history.com/topics/taj-mahal

The Great Gate leading into the Taj Mahal complex - you can just get a glimpse of the Taj through the arch.                  

                                     My first view of the magnificient Taj Mahal.

What an amazing architectural wonder!  Perfect symmetry.  I do have to admit, I was a little disappointed with the scaffolding, but it’s still beautiful, especially when you know the love story behind its creation.

Passages from the Qu’ran, done in black marble inlay, and the floral designs surround the central arch. 

The Taj Mahal seems to change color depending on the time of day.  This picture in the late afternoon reflects the golden glow of the sun.

One of the two  buildings on either side of the mausoleum.  This one was the Assembly or Guest Hall.

Mosque courtyard area (above) and looking up at one of the domes (below)

The mosque floor is laid out with black marble outlines of 569 prayer rugs 


View of the left side of the mausoleum from the mosque

The minaret that has been cleaned

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My last view of the Taj Mahal as seen from the center of the reflecting pool.  

View of the Taj Mahal from a park across the Yamuna River.  This would be the opposite side from the garden area. 

Shah Jahan’s view (minus the scaffolding, of course) of the resting place of his beloved from the Agra Fort across the Yamuna River.

© Phyllis Nethercot 2016