Saturday, 2 May 2015

Taj Mahal

Images of the Taj Mahal are familiar to us all, one of the most photographed iconic monuments in the world. However, does it live up to expectations? As far as we are concerned it far surpasses and exceeds them. It is the greatest Indo-Islamic architectural masterpiece - a precious jewel
Darwaza-i rauza - The Great Gate
We did not anticipate that the Taj Mahal complex would be so large, being bound on three sides by crenellated red arched sandstone walls. Entry is through this elaborate Great Gate. 
Immediately flanking the western side of the Taj Mahal is this red sandstone Mosque with its mirror image replicated on the eastern side. The replicated building was used as a Guest House. 
It was obligatory, according to Muslim law, for each mausoleum to have a place of worship nearby
The fourth side, behind the Taj Mahal, is open to the River Yamuna
Mumtaz Mahal
In 1631 Emperor Shah Jahan was heartbroken when his much favoured third wife , Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess, died giving birth to their 14th child
Emperor Shah Jahan
 The Taj Mahal is Emperor Shah Jahan's sublime expression of grief
He was reported to be inconsolable and went into secluded mourning for a year. When he appeared again, his hair had turned white, his back was bent, and his face worn
Looking back at the main entry gate from the mausoleum
The marble is covered in exquisite Calligraphy showing verses from the Qur'an, Persian poems, floral designs, plant motifs, and inlaid Pietra Dura work
This detail was clipped from the photo above 
The white marble used in the Taj Mahal was brought from Makrana, Rajasthan, reputed to be the finest marble in the world. The marble is very dense and non porous making it resistant to water and weather. It consists of a very high amount of calcium carbonate and is an excellent building material
Evening descends, 
birds roost, the sun sets,  

and now it is time for us to fly away to Paradise!

56 comments:

  1. It is incredible Rosemary. I have been looking forward to this and your photos do not disappoint. How even more wonderful to view it at sunset. The light on the white marble is just fabulous.

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    1. Thanks Jessica - it is worthwhile trying to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise or sunset if possible. It is kind of you to say my photos do not disappoint but on this particular trip I did realise the limitations of my little camera with its lack of zoom. It is now time to upgrade methinks.

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  2. It is indeed as beautiful as expected, Rosemary. Thank you for showing the exquisite detail of the little flowers, something I have not seen before as we usually see images of the whole building, lovely as it is. The Taj Mahal really is a precious jewel, for all mankind. May it always be preserved for generations to marvel at.

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    1. It is man's miraculous creation - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing some of the details, I didn't realise it was covered so elaborately myself.

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  3. You are priveleged to have visited one of the most famous monuments in the world.

    Greetings,
    Filip

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    1. It was a special moment when I first saw it.

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  4. Amazing pictures, sometimes the expectations are too high but in this case I am not disappointed at all, it is a beauty. The sunset picture is beautiful.

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    1. Thank you - I am pleased that you are not disappointed♡

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  5. Just stunning photographs - thank you for sharing them with us.

    Your statement here is so true "It is the greatest Indo-Islamic architectural masterpiece - a precious jewel"

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you Jan for your kind comment - it was a thrill to finally see it

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  6. Hi Rosemary,

    Such wonderful photos of the Taj-Mahal and how lovely you got to visit this amazing monument. Thanks for showing us your photos and hope one day to visit this too.
    Enjoy the weekend
    Hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. If it is somewhere that you would like to visit then I would urge you to do so - you will not regret it.

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  7. To see that in reality would be so breath taking. You are lucky to have done that and taken such lovely photo... The history is interesting and he really must have loved his 3rd wife..
    Regards,
    Margaret

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    1. Dear Margaret - Hope you had a Happy Golden Wedding Anniversary - I think a little bit about the history helps to bring the building alive.

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  8. Dear rosemary, These are beautiful photographs. Your photos tell a wondrous story. It is almost like being there. Thank you for including so many details of the fine carvings in stone and marble. It must have been an awe inspiring visit.

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    1. Dear Gina - I had always assumed that there was just the Taj Mahal sitting at the end of the water gardens from the photos I have seen previously, but there is so much more. I also had not realised the quantity of beautifully embellished carving and inlaid work on the marble either.

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  9. Wow! It looks like an amazing place to visit. Never been there..., maybe some day. Happy weekend, Rosemary.

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    1. Do go Satu if you get the chance

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  10. It really is an amazing structure, how wonderful to be loved like that. I hope she knew how much she was loved in her lifetime.

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    1. The structure and all of its carvings and engravings are in wonderful condition especially considering that the mausoleum is well over 350 years old - a testament to the fine marble used.

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  11. Hello Rosemary, It is amazing how the Taj Mahal has captured the popular imagination, especially since so few are able to see it in person. It is the very symbol of architectural beauty and fantasy--we often hear comparisons like "to them it was a Taj Mahal" or "it was no Taj Mahal".

    Your photos and description show that the up-close detail is as beautiful as the familiar distance shots. The flanking mosque additionally calls to mind the mortuary temples built as part of the funerary complexes of the Egyptian pharaohs.
    --Jim

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    1. An image of the Taj Mahal that many recall is that photo of the Princess of Wales sitting looking forlorn and alone in front of the mausoleum, but there is so much more to see within the whole complex plus the exquisite craftsmanship.

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  12. Hello Rosemary, Your photos are some of the best I have ever seen of the Taj Mahal. Not having visited India, your descriptions give a clear picture. Thanks for this wonderful post
    Helen x

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    1. Thank you Helen - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing it. It is kind to say that my photos are some of the best you have seen of the Taj Mahal, but I wished that I had a better camera to get in closer to the details - a new camera with a better zoom is now on my shopping list

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  13. Oh Rosemary!

    Your photography is wonderful, and brings India alive for me!
    I've read through all your posts and enjoyed each one - thank you!
    The moorish architecture is so appealing and The Taj Mahal is like something out of a dream - what a memorial!
    My son spent several months in India and Nepal, he loves the people and the incredible landscape.
    It's very sad about the devastation in Nepal now after the horrific earthquake.
    Enjoy the rest of your time there - I imagine the saffron and orange colours bring some sunshine into otherwise grey days for a majority of the population.
    I would love to see some of the sari's if you've photographed them!
    Take care
    Hugs
    Shane x

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    1. We have been feeling sad about the people of Napal and wondering about friends and relatives of people we met when we were in Kashmir.
      I think that once you have visited India it gets under your skin, and you feel the need to return.

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  14. I meant to add... whenever there is mention of the Taj Mahal I have a vision of Princess Diana sitting alone with the great Taj in the background - it wasn't a happy trip for her.
    Shane

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    1. I was wondering which seat she sat upon and an India gentleman overheard me, took me by the hand, and showed me.

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  15. Your photos are most beautiful, I love the architecture and hope to be able to visit this place once.

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    1. You must visit if you have the chance Jannekje.

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  16. How I'd love to see it!
    The photo of the flowers carved in the marble give a sense of the beauty of the entire site. What a wonder!

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    1. I had no idea just how much beautiful carving and inlaid work there was on the building myself.

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  17. Dear Rosemary,
    The Taj Mahal is a dream of a monument that pulls at the heart strings for its beauty and for the story behind it.Your posts are most informative and your accompanying photos superb and unique. It is with great interest and pleasure that I visit your blog.
    Warm greetings, Sieglinde

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    1. Hello Sieglinde - thank you for your visit, you are welcome, and also for your very kind comments.

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  18. Hard to make any comments a part from thank you for also showing us all the details and the surrounding areas. Almost like being there....almost :-)

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    1. I showed the details and the surrounding areas too because it was a revelation to me - I had thought that the Taj Mahal stood completely alone in beautiful water gardens.

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  19. Truly one of the Wonders of the World! Your super photos are the closest I'll get to seeing it, so thanks!

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    1. Pleased that you enjoyed seeing the photos Debra and thanks

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  20. Hello Rosemary,
    It is a pleasure to view the photos so beautiful and techniques. Highlighting the details shows its sensitivity.
    A hug,
    Antonio Machado

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    1. Hello Antonio - it is so lovely to hear from you - I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing the extra little details on the Taj Mahal - thank you

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  21. Your camera may be tiny, as you mentioned in your first reply, Rosemary, but it seems to me to have been more than adequate to the task of capturing the beauties of the Taj Mahal. These are wonderful photographs, because you have such a good eye for setting and angle and detail. I loved this.

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    1. Dear Perpetua - you are so kind and encouraging I always appreciate all of your comments. My little camera is definitely on the way out as I only have a 5X zoom. I have discovered another little camera that has 20X zoom that I have decided to treat myself to, it should hopefully give me better details and views.
      Thank you again Perpetua you have made my day♡

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  22. Thank you for these exquisite images, Rosemary! I especially appreciate seeing the close-ups of those beautiful bas-relief flowers — simply gorgeous. How special it must have been to have seen the monument as the sun set, what I call Pink Time.

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    1. Dear Mark - for a building that is over 350 years old, the marble brought from Makrana, in Rajasthan, has definitely withstood the test of time, as it shows no signs of degradation whatsoever.
      Yes, we were fortunate to catch the monument at 'pink time' - sunrise or sunset are recommended times to be there.

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  23. I have always wanted to see the Taj Mahal. Your photos are wonderful! I especially loved seeing the carved flowers and the inlaid mosaic flowers too. What a wonderful time of day to be there. You're very fortunate to have this experience and I appreciate so much that you shared it with us.

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    1. Thank you for your kind comment Jennifer - I do sincerely hope that one day you too will see this magnificent monument which leaves a lasting impression.

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  24. O wow Rosemary, so you have been to India! This must have been so amazing! The Taj Mahal is so something I will probably never be able to go to and you've actually been there, experienced it, it must have been so overwhelming and breathtaking. Your pictures are so pretty, I have no words for it. So glad you're sharing this with us.

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    1. It is so lovely to hear from you Marian - I have missed you. I am pleased that you enjoyed seeing my photos of the Taj Mahal, you never know Marian, may be you will visit India at some stage in the future.

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  25. I like this post because it showed the context for this much photographed building. I also liked that you showed images taken at different times of day.

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    1. I am glad that you like seeing the whole complex and how the Taj Mahal fits in with its surroundings. I did not understand this myself until our visit. Normally we just see the Taj Mahal with various people posing in front of it which gives a totally misleading impression. Thank you Jenny.

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  26. I recently found an antique watercolour of Shah Jahan and I'm ashamed to say I didn't know who he was until I started googling. I love the amazing floral details on the building.

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    1. I didn't know his name either until my visit, but if the question comes up in a quiz I shall remember next time

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  27. The Taj Mahal is too beautiful to describe. I like the way you showed us Taj Mahal with details from different angles and in different light.

    Yoko

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    1. Thank you Yoko - the building is wondrous to behold

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  28. It was wonderful to see the Taj Mahal from different angles and close up too. The carving on the marble is so beautiful. Sarah x

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    1. Dear Sarah - before seeing the Taj Mahal I had not realised quite how much carving and inlaid work there is in the marble - it really is a work of art.

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