Taj Mahal stands on the bank of River Yamuna, which otherwise serves as a wide moat defending the Great Red Fort of Agra, the center of the Mughal emperors until they moved their capital to Delhi in 1637. It was built by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian princess. She died while accompanying her husband in Burhanpur in a campaign to crush a rebellion after giving birth to their 14th child. The death so crushed the emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white in a few months.
When Mumtaz Mahal was still alive, she extracted four promises from the emperor: first, that he build the Taj; second, that he should marry again; third, that he be kind to their children; and fourth, that he visit the tomb on her death anniversary. He kept the first and second promises. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport it to the site. It was designed by the Iranian architect Ustad Isa and it is best appreciated when the architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion that inspired it. It is a "symbol of eternal love".
The Taj rises on a high red sandstone base topped by a huge white marble terrace on which rests the famous dome flanked by four tapering minarets. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen. So exquisite is the workmanship that the Taj has been described as "having been designed by giants and finished by jewellers". The only asymmetrical object in the Taj is the casket of the emperor which was built beside the queen’s as an afterthought. The emperor was deposed by his son and imprisoned in the Great Red Fort for eight years but was buried in the Taj. During his imprisonment, he had a view of the Taj.
As a tribute to a beautiful woman and as a monument for enduring love, the Taj reveals its subtleties when one visits it without being in a hurry. The rectangular base of Taj is in itself symbolic of the different sides from which to view a beautiful woman. The main gate is like a veil to a woman’s face which should be lifted delicately, gently and without haste on the wedding night. In indian tradition the veil is lifted gently to reveal the beauty of the bride. As one stands inside the main gate of Taj, his eyes are directed to an arch which frames the Taj.
The dome is made of white marble, but the tomb is set against the plain across the river and it is this background that works its magic of colours that, through their reflection, change the view of the Taj. The colours change at different hours of the day and during different seasons. Like a jewel, the Taj sparkles in moonlight when the semi-precious stones inlaid into the white marble on the main mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes, they say, depict the different moods of woman.
Different people have different views of the Taj but it would be enough to say that the Taj has a life of its own that leaps out of marble, provided you understand that it is a monument of love. As an architectural masterpiece, nothing could be added or substracted from it.
Critiques | Translate
Keitht (1304) 2008-01-25 4:27
Thank you for posting an image of the Taj Mahal which isn't simply the standard version with the water etc in the foreground. The shot is beautifully exposed with every little detail in the building visible and no obvious burnt out highlights.
I feel that you have included too much foreground and possible too much sky as well. I think cropping down to the top of the trees on the right, removing the area to the left of the small building and also cropping the foreground would create a stonger image.
I've posted a workshop to demonstrate what I mean. It's still a very nice image.
Jeppo (17645) 2008-01-25 4:32
this is a good POV....you were much luckier than I! I got misty weather...
impressive and majestic monument...a place to see!
cfreire (11741) 2008-01-25 4:38
Congratulations for your beautiful angle for this important historical architeture. Good control of brightness, the shadows on the grasses are very impressive. Beautiful colors and contrasts. Well done. Best Regards, Consuelo
jaywalker (16101) 2008-01-25 4:52
Hi Vivek, A great view of this most famous architecture, I like this view with the grass & trees in the foreground it gives a natural feel, the Taj Mahal is standing out in splendor here, towering above everything around as it should, the light & cast shadows are excellent &, TFS, kind regards Wilson.
snowfalken (1116) 2008-01-25 5:32
A beautiful image of the famous monument of love! I'm glad to see a different angle than the "standard" view! I like the exposure and the beautiful clouds in the sky! I wonder if there is an elevation close to the monument so one can take pictures from a higher POV? Thank you for sharing!
With Friendly Regards,
imtiyaz (1005) 2008-01-25 5:56
vincz (19113) 2008-01-25 7:02
Hi Vivek! Beautiful Taj image with excellent colors and composition. Definitely a different angle, I like it.
guftgu (22) 2012-07-27 2:15
This is first time i have seen Taj Mahal from such a beautiful angle. Amazing colors and framework. Keep sharing.
Thanks and Regards
- Copyright: Vivek Pratap Singh Sisodia (Dragonheart) (8414)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2008-01-13
- Categories: Architecture
- Camera: Nikon D40, AFS DX VR Nikkor 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G IF ED
- Exposure: f/13.0, 1/200 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Taj Mahal [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2008-01-25 4:19
- Favorites: 1 [view]