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Agra – Home of the Taj Mahal

April 4, 2011 by Chelsea Slone

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The breathtaking Taj Mahal, found in the city of Agra, is the sole reason millions of people travel to India each and every year. The beauty of this incredible monument of love and celebration of life can be described in the most beautiful poetic writing and seen on a post card of perfection, but the magnificence it holds standing before you is truly ineffable, in every sense of the word.

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in 1632 in memory of his beloved wife, the persian princess Mumtaz Mahal who died during Childbirth of her fourteenth child in 1631. Best described by the english poet Sir Edwin Arnold as “Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passion of an emperors love wrought in living stones.” Shah Jahan was engaged to fourteen year old Mumtaz Mahal, who claimed her to be the love of his life. Due to astrological calculations they were to wait five years before marrying to ensure a happy marriage. After marriage despite her frequent pregnancies she traveled with the Emperor throughout his military campaigns, and was known to be of great influence to him. His trust on their relationship was so great he gave her his imperial seat, the Muhr Uzah. After her death, the Emperor was said to have gone into secluded morning for a year. By the time he reappeared to the people his hair had gone white and his face was worn from the grief.

Taj Mahal literally meaning Crown Palace lies on the bank of River Yamuna. The magnificent memorial is made of purely white marble brought specifically from the Rajasthan region for it’s beauty by over a thousand elephants, constructed by the hands of over 20,000 men. After a long twenty two years the memorial was finally completed with perfection. In addition to the white marble inlay work was done with twenty eight different kinds of rare semi precious stones including Jasper, jade, crystal, turquoise, lapis, lazuli, sapphire, coral, cornelian, and diamonds. The four pillars, one on each corner, were designed slightly tilting outward in case of the event of an earthquake they would fall away from the memorial. Inside the structure lays the tomb oh Mumtaz Mahal in the center, and the larger tomb of the emperor lays directly beside it. The entire structure of the Taj Mahal is symmetrical, the four gardens surrounding, the four pillars on each corner, and a red sandstone mosque on each side, everything except the tombs inside of the memorial. The emperor had originally planned to build an identical memorial made of black marble directly across the river, but he was deposed by his son for power and imprisoned in the Great Red Fort with a view of the Taj Mahal for eight years where he eventually died. With only the base of the strcture completed he passed on, and his tomb was placed directly beside his beloved Mumtaz Muhal.

The Taj Mahal was created for enduring love and constructed in more than one way for a beautiful woman. The color of the memorial appears to be different colors throughout hours of the day and seasons of the year. It’s magnificant beauty is shown in uniquely throughout the day; appearing to have a pink tink in the morning sunrise, a golden warmth in the evening sunset, a milky white glow in the dusk of the night, and sparkling light a jewel in the midnight moonlight. It has been said the various appearances weren’t an accident but designed using the specific stones reflecting these colors in the natural light to represent the different moods of a woman. The thought and love placed into this heartwarming memorial is shown by every detail of perfection, and yet it is still unmeasurable. It goes without a question or doubt to say that the Taj Mahal is not only an architectural masterpiece from every point of view but a honest profession of passion and undeniable eternal love.



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One thought on “Agra – Home of the Taj Mahal

  1. I was here last summer and it was amazing to get to see. The drive from Agra back to Delhi was pure madness…..

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