Friday, December 12, 2014

Taj Mahal - India

The Taj Mahal is India’s most recognized monument, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It looks like a palace but actually is a mausoleum containing the tomb of  Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. He had it built as an ode to his love for her. 
These are the three cards I've of this lovely monument. The 1st is an official I got a few weeks ago, I've got the 2nd one on a travelling RR back in 2010 and the 3rd card was sent from the Netherlands
by Jetske in 2008.

IN-114802, sent by Varun.
Taj Mahal was constructed over a period of 22 years, employing 20.000. It was completed in 1648 C.E. at a cost of 32 Million Rupees. The mausoleum is a part of a vast complex comprising of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque, a guest house, and several other palatial buildings. 
Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim Ruler Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved and favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal at Agra, on the bank of River Yamuna.
Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later.

Shah Jahan had three wives. His second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, whom he had married in 1612, died in 1631. She had been the mother of 14 of his 16 children. It was to her memory that the Taj Mahal was built. In this most beautiful of the world's tombs, the minutest detail has been carefully thought out and executed with tireless precision. In inscribing texts from the Koran round the tall doorways, the artists have shown themselves such masters of perspective that the letters 30 feet or more above the line of the eye appear to be exactly of the same size as those a foot above the floor level. Onyx, jasper, cornelian, carbuncle, malachite, lapis lazuli, and other precious stones are studded in the mosaic. It has been described as "A Dream in Marble." 

The unique mughal style combines elements of Persian, Central Asian, and Islamic architecture. Most impressive are the black and white chessboard marble floor, the four tall minarets at the corners of the structure, and the majestic dome in the middle. The impressive pietra dura artwork includes geometric elements, plants and flowers, mostly common in Islamic architecture. The level of sophistication in artwork becomes obvious when one realizes that a 3 cm decorative element contains more than 50 inlaid gemstones. 
Soon after the Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb. It is rumored that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with an excellent view of the Taj Mahal. - in:

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