Friday 30 December 2011

The Taj Mahal-Seven Wonders Of The World

The Taj Mahal is 3 Hours Drive From Our Airbnb Apartment-Reunite in Delhi-The Ideal New Delhi Accomodation

The Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal has been around for 360 years  and draws more than 3 Million visitors annually. On 25 Dec 2011, middle of the holiday season all over the world, 80,000 tickets were sold not counting visitors below 15 yrs of age who do not need a ticket.Such is the popularity of the Taj Mahal as a tourist attraction. Located in Agra, 200 KMs from New Delhi, the capital of India, The Taj Mahal was completed in 1653 after 22 years of hard work by more than 20,000 contruction workers, calligraphers, inlayers, sculptors, stone cutters and off course the architects and designers all of whom were accumulated from various parts of Asia depending on the local expertise. The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders Of The World.
Main gate of Taj Mahal
The main entrance to the Taj Mahal has 2 striking features. One is the Holy Koran ,inscribed by the calligraphers in the white border .The letters at the top level, 30 feet high, appear to be the same size as at the ground level. Secondly you can count eleven small white domes on top of the gate. For each year of construction activity one dome was made.After twenty two years the same number of domes was ready and they were mounted on the tops of the  two gates, eleven each. Since the workers did not know how to count and keep track of the years ,this was their simple method of keeping count of the years.
The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan ,Emperor of India, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631  and completed in 1653.At that time in 1632, Shah Jahan was the richest and the  most powerful person in the world. The 4 minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal are inclined outwards by 2 degrees to prevent damage to the main dome in case they collapse during an earthquake or storm.
The Fountains & lawns of the Taj Mahal with the reflection.

There are Sixteen lawns , and fifty three  fountains around The Taj Mahal, to mark the year of completion of the Taj Mahal i.e1653. Built at a cost of Rs.40 Million at that time, The Taj Mahal is 55M wide and about 55M Tall.The grave of Mumtaz Mahal, 30 ft below the ground, is exactly aligned with the centre of the main gate and the Tombstone has  the name Mumtaz Mahal  inscribed  in Arabic in gold letters with a picture of Shah Jahan's Peacock Throne.The throne is today in Iran ,looted away by the Persian Invader Nadir Shah in the  year 1738.

Inside The Main Gate
This is the inside of the Main Gate. I found a guide exasperatedly looking for the eleventh member of  his group, muttering why do tourists go crazy at the first sight of The Taj.He found her lying on the floor in a corner of the main gate  trying to photograph The Taj from some special angle. Such is the effect of The Taj on the human mind.The Scale, Grandeur and Magnificence of the monument can be felt and experienced only by personally visiting the place.

Remains of the water tank for the Black Taj Mahal
River Yamuna behind The Taj
River Jamuna behind The Taj
 At the back of the Taj Mahal is the River Jamuna and across it Shah Jahan had built a tank of water. On moonlit nights the reflection of The Taj could be seen in the tank and it used to appear black. So there was a White Taj Mahal which was reflected in the water tank at a particular time and on some particular dates atop an inverted Black Taj Mahal . It was quite a sight and Shah Jahan used to invite his guests to enjoy the symmetry of the two Taj Mahals. Later on the water tank gave birth to a myth that Shah Jahan wanted to build another black Taj Mahal and was stopped by his son Aurangzeb and put into prison at the Agra Fort.The imprisonment was the result of a war for succession which resulted in Aurangzeb killing his three elder brothers and taking over as the Emperor of India, and Shah Jahan being imprisoned in Agra Fort from where he could see his favourite Taj Mahal and also  where he died eight years later, and was  buried next to his wife inside the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is now just 2 hours away by the New Expressway and is a must see for visitors to Delhi. When in Delhi stay at our Airbnb Apartment Reunite In Delhi. It is ideal New Delhi accomodation for upto 8 guests. 

Upon watching the Video of The Taj Mahal one can judge its magnificence by comparing the size of the visitors who are walking on the platform to The Taj Mahal itself. The number of visitors at the time of filming can also be estimated.

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Details of The Taj Mahal and it becomes clear why it took 22 years to complete and also why it is counted among the Seven Wonders Of The World.
Inlaid Spandrels and Poem Calligraphy at The Taj Mahal
Inlaid Spandrels and Arabic Poems  Calligraphy

Marble Sculptres on the Minarets.

Plant Motifs on the walls of the TaJ Mahal

Green and Orange Semi precious Stones Inlaid in Marble

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There is now a new super highway for reaching the Taj mahal from Delhi. The Yamuna Expressway is a 6-lane , 205 km long, controlled-access expressway, connecting Greater Noida with Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is India's one of the longest six-lane controlled-access expressway stretch. The total project cost was US$2.0 billion -Rs 13000 Crore.

In a first for military aviation in India, Indian Air Force on May 21, 2015 successfully landed a French Dassault Mirage-2000 on the Yamuna Expressway near Raya village, Mathura, at about 6.40 am. The drill was part of more elaborate trials to see how many other highways can be used for emergency landing of defence aircraft. The next stretch on sight is three km of the Agra-Lucknow Greenfield Expressway.


  1. The most beautiful monument!

  2. Yes, is one of the most world's iconic buildings. Just to clarify that the inscriptions on the walls are not "Arabic poems" it is surats/Aiat or holy words from the Holy Quran.

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