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Photographer's Note

Another picture of the Tajmahal from a different angle.
Taj Mahal is the name of a monument located in Agra, India. It was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the son of Jahangir, as a mausoleum for his Persian wife, Arjumand Banu Begum, also known as Mumtaz-ul-Zamani or Mumtaz Mahal. It took 23 years to complete (1630 - 1653) and is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture."Taj Mahal" is a shorter variant of "Mumtaz Mahal," the name of the woman it was built to commemorate. "Taj" is the Persian word meaning 'crown.' "Mahal" means 'palace' in Persian and in Arabic. This linguistic similarity could have stemmed from the influence of Persian language in the Indian society as well as Mughal empire. Typically the building is simply and evocatively referred to as The Taj.
The cusped arches and panel of flowers are missing their inlay, but the vegetal band around the flowers survives (or, perhaps, has been restored; it is not always easy to tell the difference). Also present is a vertical Koranic inscription. Calligraphy is made larger as the writing climbs up the building, so that all the letters appear the same size when seen from the ground. In keeping with the Taj Mahal's function as a funerary monument, Koranic quotations on the building refer to the delights of Paradise to come.
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Additional Photos by Pranab Banik (pranab) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1566 W: 21 N: 1362] (5354)
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