Photographer's Note

The main gateway to the Taj Mahal and its gardens stands on the southside of the courtyard. Detached gateways have long been muslim architectural design. It symbolizes the transition between the mundane world and Paradise, or in a more metaphysical way, a transition from the world of senses to the world of spiritualism. The gateway is richly decorated with inlay of Quaranic verses done in masterly calligraphy. Here the artists of Shah Jahan have done a remarkable job of creating an optical illusion by heightening the letters as they climb upwards so that all letters look the same size when viewed from below. Made of red sand stone, the gateway is 150ft wide and 100ft tall. The gateway is richly embellished. Of particular note are the floral arabesques fashioned from gemstones and inlaid in white marble which decorate the columns of the arches. Also impressive are the inlaid black marble inscriptions that frame the central vaulted portal.

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Additional Photos by Mohd Tabrez Alam (doctabrez) Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 4 W: 16 N: 12] (405)
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