India: The Taj Mahal – The Monument of Eternal Love
Since 2007, the Taj Mahal has been recognized as the seventh wonder of the world. The official announcement was made in Lisbon. In the city of Agra in India is located this wonder, which today so many tourists aspire to.
The Taj Mahal (India) was declared the seventh wonder of the world in 2007. The official announcement was made in Lisbon. The Indian city of Agra is home to the wonder that so many tourists seek.
Those who come to get acquainted with this wonder must fly to Delhi, and then go on to the city itself. On average, such a journey by public transport or cab can take up to four hours.
Anyone who has ever seen this miracle says that this is the real India, and if you do not visit the Taj Mahal, it is considered that you have not been to India.
The palace is so beautiful that it takes one’s breath away when one sees it for the first time. This beauty cannot be described in words, there would be few.
In terms of architecture, one can say that it brings together all the best of India, from Persian to Islamic style.
The Taj Mahal – the history of India’s most important landmark
If you study the history of the Taj Mahal, you can be very surprised. It is based on love. The king of the Mughals met in the market the most ordinary girl, who conquered his heart with one look.
She fell in love with Shah Jahan and became his beloved consort Mumtaz. Among all the harem of beauties from all over the world, it was to her he tried to give as much of his warmth and affection as possible. In their happy marriage they had fourteen children.
The King of the Great Mongols lost his beloved during another delivery. She took with her his desire to live. Time stopped for him, and all the colors of the world simply disappeared.
For two years the official mourning lasted, more than once the mighty ruler thought of ending his own life.
And then he had the idea of erecting a beautiful mausoleum in which his love would rest. When he himself passed away, he finally found his happiness next to her.
They were buried in the same palace. This mausoleum became the world’s greatest symbol of true love and fidelity.
The king kept his word and in this palace he embodied all the beauty of his beloved Mumtaz.
Taj Mahal – construction and architecture
There is no answer in history as to who was the builder of the Taj Mahal. It was not the workers or the architect who got all the glory then, but the person on whose orders the palace was built. Today, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is considered the author of the project.
If history is to be believed, then at the end of 1631 the construction of this legendary palace began. Seven years later the central mausoleum was erected, and only in another five years the construction could be considered completed. More than twenty thousand people worked on it so that the world could see this wonderful symbol of true love.
Elephants helped to transport building materials from different parts of the world. Mostly everything came from Asia or was in India itself. Masters from all over the world worked on the columns and other parts of the mausoleum, which were then generously inlaid with the most expensive stones.
They really did their work for the ages. Each craftsman worked on his own section only, so there were indeed many people involved.
The onion dome crowns the majestic Taj Mahal, it can be considered a national treasure and the main attraction of India. The dome, so much admired by many, was surmounted by a month of gold, but in the 19th century the precious metal was replaced by ordinary bronze.
There are so many fountains and pools in the gardens that it is impossible to stop admiring them. If you look at the palace at full moon, it all glows with silver, It’s because it is made of the highest quality marble.
By the way, at night in the light of the moon Taj Mahal looks just fantastic.
Why do you have to visit the Taj Mahal?
Precious incrustations even today remain the hallmark of this place. The gems shimmer in both sunlight and full moonlight and it is truly mesmerizing. At sunset, the Taj Mahal shimmers with all shades of pink, and in clear weather it is perfectly white.
If you get a chance, be sure to see the Taj Mahal from a distance, from some hotel rooftop. You can see it from a distance, and personally I was more impressed by it from afar.
It is hard to imagine that for the decoration of the palace masters were used the real authentic passages from the Koran.
The perfect octagon in all its beauty is seen in the inner hall of this architectural marvel.
The tombstones of the Mughal king and his wife are decorated with the same decorative elements. The masters tried to make everything completely identical. The husband’s monument is slightly larger than his wife’s because it was erected later in time. This is the only discrepancy in them. The tombstone of Mumtaz is decorated with words that continue through the ages to praise its beauty.
A person who comes to India for the first time simply has to be in this place and see the Taj Mahal. Here you can breathe the power of love and devotion, which in the Taj Mahal is imbued with literally everything.
By the way, the entrance ticket to the Taj Mahal since April 1 this year rose in price and now costs 1000 rupees, while a year ago it was 800. In addition, tickets for all sightseeing has almost doubled in price.
It has now become cheaper to vacation in Russia, such as in Crimea at Lake Ai-Yefim, about which read here.
Completed in August 2018: Indian authorities have raised the price of the entrance ticket. For foreigners it is 1,100 rupees, which is about $16. The price for Indian citizens has also risen slightly, with a ticket for them now costing 50 rupees.
Why is the Taj Mahal the greatest monument of love?
The Taj Mahal in India is one of the calling cards of this country. Many have seen pictures of the majestic white marble mausoleum, but not everyone knows that it is a symbol of love beyond time and circumstance.
The extraordinary and sad story of the appearance of one of the seven new wonders of the world can touch even a cynic. Let’s find out what the Taj Mahal is, in what city is this construction and in honor of whom it was erected.
A brief description
Agra is a city in India, known for its unusual mosque, the color of the walls of which changes at different times of the day. Taj Mahal Mausoleum is built on the banks of the Jamna River. The mosque was built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved wife of ruler Shah Jahan, according to Wikipedia.
The structure was one of the finest examples of architecture that used Arabic, Persian, and Indian styles. The complex, sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Touch Mahal” in search queries, consists of:
The love story without which there would be no Taj Mahal
Since 1983, the grandiose mausoleum located in the Indian city of Agra is protected by UNESCO. This unique tomb is a true masterpiece of architectural art, which appeared during the reign of Shah Jahan. The history of the Taj Mahal is tragic. Shah suffered a bereavement when his beloved wife, whom he affectionately called “Taj Mahal”, which translates as “the pride of the palace”, passed away while giving birth.
The love story, of which legends are told today, began suddenly. The future ruler once met a girl from a poor family at the market, which shocked him with its beauty. He decided not to part with the beautiful stranger anymore and took her as his wife. So the 19-year-old Mumtaz-Mahal became the second wife of Prince Guram, who went down in history as Shah Jahan. The ruler had many concubines, but it was this girl who won his heart. He consulted with her in all matters and invited her to important ceremonies. But happiness was not long.
There are two versions of how the life of the beloved of the emperor ended . In brief, according to one of them, the wife of Shah Jahan suddenly fell ill, according to the other, she died during childbirth. The data on how many children they had in common also varies. Some sources say there were nine, others say thirteen.
Retro photos of the Taj Mahal.
After the unexpected death of his beloved in childbirth the ruler did not leave his chambers for a week. The subjects noted that during these seven days he turned gray and several years older. Normally in Muslim culture it is not accepted to show ardent feelings for a woman – above all there should be love for God. But the emperor did not intend to hide his melancholy after the sudden death of his beloved.
Initially, Shah Jahan’s wife was buried in the place where she died, Burhan Nur. Later the remains were transported to Agra. Shah Jahan decided to immortalize the name of his beloved by building a mausoleum of incredible beauty in her honor. The ruler decided that he would build such a tomb, which would not be equal in the world. No money was spared for the grandiose construction, which became one of the most expensive in history.
The tomb today
There are two versions of what happened next to the ruler :
- To many things that used to be important to the ruler after the tragic event, he lost all interest and independently decided to give up the throne:
- Another version is more prosaic. Shah Jahan was forced to end his rule of the country because of his own son, who overthrew him and sent him to prison, where he died in 1666. It is believed that the heir was not happy with his father’s projects and his profligacy.
See with their own eyes the world-famous Taj Mahal Palace in India, tourists from different countries, and they are under great impression when this dream comes true. The city with the unusual construction does not lose its popularity among travelers for many years.
Construction of the Taj Mahal.
The land on which the tomb appeared, the emperor acquired from one of his subjects. The grandiose construction began in 1632. Built the Taj Mahal mosque for more than 20 thousand people who had come from different parts of the country. For the palace to be safe, the workers had to work tirelessly. First, they prepared the ground – the huge area was carefully dug over, and it was decided to replace the ground on it, so the building would be strong.
The marble for the mausoleum was transported by elephants from a distant location. Even special wagons and ramps were invented to transport it quickly. It was forbidden to build other structures with this marble. If you admire the building at different times of day, you can see that its color varies. During the day it looks white, during sunset it is slightly pinkish, and at night it looks silvery.
The color of the palace changes at different times of day
Tense work was in full swing, day and night. To feed those who worked on the construction of the Taj Mahal, had to use the grain intended for the inhabitants of the province. Financial problems and a terrible famine began in the country. The mausoleum was erected by 1643, and all the accompanying work could not be completed until 10 years later.
Disputes about how long the ruler built the mosque last to this day. Also, historians have not come to a consensus on what happened after the completion of the work with the builders. Three versions are popular:
- They were executed so that no one would give away the secrets of the majestic tomb.
- The eyes and hands of those who built the mausoleum were put out and cut off, so that later they could not take part in the creation of such a masterpiece.
- Some historians are convinced that the only thing that awaited the workers after the construction was a written assurance that they would not take part in the construction of a similar tomb.
One of the main mysteries of the Taj Mahal
The history of the creation of the mausoleum is shrouded in many mysteries and riddles. So for certain it is not known who built the tomb – the name of the architect, intentionally or accidentally nowhere is listed. According to one version, the author of an architectural masterpiece was the governor himself, who had excellent taste. According to another version, the project of creation of a complex belonged to Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Some sources mention also the name of the Turkish subject Muhammed Efendi.
Features of the building
The photos on the Internet do not convey even a hundredth of the beauty that enthusiastic tourists see. This wonder of the world wants to look at endlessly, as if the pictures from fairy tales came to life. The entrance to the palace is hidden under an arch, which is located in a special way. When you approach it, it seems that the tomb moves away from you. Many are surprised by this unusual optical effect.
Guests of India noted another feature – there is a feeling that the minarets, located next to each other, are parallel to each other. But they are not; they are slightly tilted to the sides. It was not the architect’s fancy, it was a necessity. If there had been an earthquake, the towers would not have caused any damage to the mausoleum, but would have fallen away from it. Nevertheless, there have been no serious natural disasters since the construction, and the minarets are still positioned as originally conceived.
The minarets are slightly tilted.
The Taj Mahal Palace from the inside
Before entering the palace, you need to wear shoe covers. Locals simply take off their shoes and walk inside barefoot. Inside the Taj Mahal Palace is no less beautiful than the outside. The ledges on the walls are decorated with delicate lotus buds.
Floral ornaments on the walls
In addition, here you can see the incredible beauty of the patterns of semi-precious stones. The stones were brought from all over India and from other countries. So for malachite ambassadors went even to Russia. The inner hall is made in the form of an octagon, the entrances to which are located on all sides. Usually the southern door, located on the garden side, is open.
The walls are 25 meters high. The interior space is symmetrically divided by large arches. It is forbidden to take photos and videos inside, so there are not many pictures of the interior. The surfaces are decorated with bas-reliefs and inlays.
The luxurious interiors of the palace
The tomb of the Shah and his wife
Inside the tomb is divided into two parts. One is dedicated to the earthly journey and the other to the afterlife. The first includes the bazaar streets and courtyards, the second the mausoleum and the garden. In between is a special arch and pond that symbolize the transitional state.
Shah Jahan decided to go for a trick so that the ashes of his beloved wife would be securely protected. Therefore, an empty tomb was placed under the main dome, and the body of the emperor’s wife was hidden in a secret hall. The remains of the ruler after his death were buried next to his beloved .Tourists visit the place where copies of the tombstones are made. False tombs are placed behind a carved screen of marble. There is only one small lamp in the room, but the natural light is enough to see all the decorations.
The garden is one of the tourists’ favourite places. The length of the garden is about 300 metres. Canals of marble adorn the fountains of extraordinary beauty. Paths divide it visually into four parts, in each of which there are 16 flowerbeds.
It is believed that 400 plants are planted in each flowerbed in this paradise – “4” is particularly significant for Muslims, so the design used numbers in multiples of it. The trees are also arranged here according to the rules of symmetry. The artificial reservoir, paved with marble, is made in the form of a lotus. If you look into it, you can see in a shaky reflection of the majestic Taj Mahal mosque, looking like a picture of a dream realized in reality. It looks especially incredible during the full moon.
The complex also includes watchtowers. From them rang out before the start of the prayers. The Taj Mahal Mosque is the jewel of the place. On the side of the mausoleum are two similar structures that are made of pressed sand.
The entire complex is surrounded by red sandstone walls. Nearby is also the Music House, which houses the museum. Tourists notice that the decorations on the main marble gate repeat the patterns on the tombs inside the mausoleum.
The complex is surrounded by red walls
Taj Mahal today
Over time, the structure has become dilapidated – the tomb has settled and become cracked. The environmental situation in the city of Agra, where the mausoleum is located, leaves much to be desired. Because of the dirty air marble rapidly turns yellow, so from time to time to maintain a presentable appearance, it rubbed with white clay. A lot of pigeons that take a fancy to the place spoil the veneer.
Recommendations for tourists
Taj Mahal in India is a special place, which the whole country is proud of. There are a number of rules on the territory of the construction. You can not take not only lighters and food, but also professional cameras. Foreigners are surprised that chewing gum is also prohibited here . Visiting the Taj Mahal Mosque is not allowed on Fridays, as Muslims gather for prayers on that day.
During the tour, the history of the Taj Mahal will come alive before your eyes. You will visit a place where time seems to stop. You will see the Taj Mahal on the map immediately. Note that it is usually marked next to which side is the active entrance to the complex . Outside of it, you can also take vivid pictures to remember – for this, it is better to visit the observation deck, which offers a stunning view of the entire structure. You can also see information about tourist cities in India.
Every year thousands of tourists come to the city of Agra, with which many people associate India, to see with their own eyes this extraordinary temple of love, especially beautiful at sunset. The Taj Mahal is a sight to behold indefinitely. Despite the fact that there is a sad story behind it, one has the warmest thoughts when looking at it, because even time has no control over the power of love.