The Taj Mahal. India

Tourist Information For The Taj Mahal Agra
10.12.2010 | Author: Sharon Stenning | Posted in Travel and Leisure

The Taj Mahal. India

The mystical country of India possesses a magnificently rich culture. The great Taj Mahal Agra must be seen to be believed. It is handy to visitors arriving from New Delhi or Mumbai. The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognizable monuments on earth, situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. Especially lovely in the moonlight, the Taj is open to visitors on certain full moons. Like many other ancient monuments, it took decades to build and scores of builders.
The Taj has been named a present day wonder, and was declared a World Heritage Site thirty years ago by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, to ensure that it would be preserved for future generations. Only places of immense distinction are included as World Heritage Sites.
Many people do not know that this incredible architectural gem was built as a tomb for an emperors wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The emperor who built the tomb was Shah Jahan. Much of what we know about the romantic history of the Taj is pure folklore. However, the mere fact that this elaborate tomb exists defies the customs of its times, in which emperors afterlife provisions for their mates tended to be far more modest.
In the 1700s, tourists took over the Taj area, and enjoyed lavish parties there. The area was all but ruined, and plans were being made to remove the priceless marble from the mausoleum. Fortunately, in the late 1800s, the Taj was restored.
The Taj is a Mughal building, combining the architecture of three nations: mainly Persian, plus Islamic and Indian components. Its sides are equal in length and width, and the southern face is composed of milky marble. The awe-inspiring golden dome is 115 feet high and 115 feet wide.
In reality, the Taj Mahal is a complex of numerous structures, with the mausoleum at its center. The mausoleum reposes on a square foundation, with an arched entryway. Four 130-foot towers stand at all four corners of the complex. Four lesser onion-domed buildings (chattris) echo the style of the primary structure.
Millions of people come to Agra to view the Taj Mahal yearly, and thousands travel from far away. Take the train to the Taj, and you can enjoy a morning meal included in your fare.
Additional important points of interest in Agra are its fort and market. Leather, art, stone and handicrafts are sold there. Agra fort is a compound that contains several royal residences. The compound boasts cultivated plants laid out in rigid formation, some of which bear fruit or flowers. Oddly, Shah Jahan, who planned the Taj, was imprisoned in the fort by his son.
The architects of the fort ensured that its inhabitants remained cool by incorporating water channels all through the structure. Massive rooms and window screening facilitated air movement, and minimized the heat of the sun.
Forty kilometers from Agra lies Fatehpur Sikri, the ancient city and final resting place of the great ruler Akbar. Red sandstone and marble were used in its construction. All Fatehpur residents fled the city after Akbar died because water was so scarce. The city was still brand new, and forever sits as a ghostly reminder of its former glory.
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