The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra.
It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife of three, Mumtaz Mahal. The river is on the backside of the building. The detail and the marble is equisite. They are constantly renovating it.
I will post some photos from my cell phone here but the best photos are in Hal/Sanjay’s big camera back in Delhi.
We also visited the Baby Taj, another tomb. This small tomb, across the Yamuna river from the town of Agra, looks like a jewel box. The tomb, was built in the 1620s, for the father of Jahangir’s wife (and grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal) and illustrates a progression from earlier Mughal mausoleums, built from red sandstone with marble decorations, (such as as Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi and Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra) – to its second phase, based on white marble and pietra dura inlay, most fully realized in the Tāj Mahal.
Baby Taj- As with all of these tombs, the symmetry of the gardens and outbuildings is of key importance, as are the criss-crossing watercourses, which signify the Persian origins of the designers and their clients.
- We also visited the Agra Fort. With the Taj Mahal overshadowing it, one can easily forget that Agra has one of the finest Mughal forts in India. Here we are walking across the drawbridge to the entrance. The moat Which is right under the bridge surrounds the Fort and in the past was full of crocodiles for the protection of intruders. Construction of the massive red-sandstone fort, (which you can see the red in the photos) on the bank of the Yamuna River, was begun by Emperor Akbar in 1565. Further additions were made, particularly by his grandson Shah Jahan, using his favourite building material – white marble. The fort was built primarily as a military structure, you can still see remains of the cannons. The Shah Jahan transformed it into a palace, and later it became his gilded prison for eight years after his son Aurangzeb seized power in 1658 and claimed him mentally unstable. The Fort is Magnificent with these colossal marble pillars
After sweet Agra we took a taxi to Vrindevan the home of Krishna. To be continued.