Petit Futé's opinion on TAJ MAHAL
A «tear on the face of eternity» is the greatest Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore described the Taj Mahal. This monument, emblematic of a country and one of the most famous in the world, is part of the world architectural heritage as a witness of eternal love, a romantic folly. The Taj Mahal is part of these monuments seen thousand times in photography or in reports. And yet when he finds himself with his delicate white before your eyes, it is impossible not to be surprised by his beauty, his majesty, his grace. The effect of wonder beats its full. It must be seen in the early hours of the morning, when the sun still ensommeillé comes caresser the white marble of its first rays, making it rosir as an intimidated girl. This is also the time at which the crowd is less and the place belongs to you. The height of romanticism, however, is to visit it a full moon evening. It makes it detach from the marine blue sky, the gardens guessing in the darkness. Taj Mahal Gardens are among the finest Mughal gardens in India. Inspired by Persian style, they are arranged in enclosed space and canals and alleys draw straight shots. The basins are positioned to reflect the gardens, the sky and here, the Taj Mahal. The aisles in 8 parts, a auspicieux figure for the Muslims, were planted. Each square has 16 beds of flowers. In the Koran, the garden is the symbol of paradise, and it is better understood why they have been particularly cared here. Because the Taj Mahal is a tomb. It houses the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal, for whom it was built, and that of the Emperor Shah Jahan who reigned in northern India from 1628 to 1658.
What is striking in the history of the Taj is that it is primarily the witness of love of a man to his wife. The man is the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, and his wife is Mumtaz Mahal, «Bijoux du Palais». In 1631, when she was 39, she did not survive at the birth of their fourteenth child. On his death bed, she enjoins her husband to show the world how much they loved. For two years, Shah Jahan was mourning before he resolved to yield to his other passion: architecture. He thus conceived the Taj Mahal, the «crown of the palace», which he placed on the bank of the Yamuna, desiring to be able to contemplate him from the red fort where he resided. Seventeen years of hard work, 22 000 men and 1 000 elephants were needed to build it. The marble was transported to the elephant back from Jodhpur, we went to search for jade in China, turquoise in Tibet, agates in Yemen, gold in Egypt. It is said that Shah Jahan intended to build a tomb to the same for himself, but this time in black marble. Unfortunately, shortly after the beginning of the construction of the Taj Mahal, the emperor was overthrown by his own son, Aurangzeb who was imprisoned at the Agra fort. So it was through a window that he kept for the rest of his life the progress of the work. The legend claimed that Shah Jahan wished to make the hands of all craftsmen who had worked on the site, so that no reply could ever be built. When he died in 1666, he was still buried alongside his wife.
If the emperor took so much part in the design of the building that he described as his architect, in reality, the doubt hangs… The building reportedly was designed by architect Ustadz Ahmad Lahori. It is 171 meters high, and the dome is 35 meters.
After the regulatory search of the security service, you are at the foot of a huge red sandstone door impregnated with white marble. The splendour and majesty of this anticipate door of what awaits you behind. There is often a lot of people on the edge of the door, because tourists rush to take a picture of Taj Mahal and his gardens from the stairs. You often have to sit down and wait for a while before you can make a cliché. The garden, typically Mughal, is divided into four equal parts. At the centre, a canal feeds a basin in which the Taj Mahal is reflected. And in every corner of the space, trees lined with trees and a green lawn.
In the central canal is the monument framed with four purely decorative minarets.
These were built in such a way that, in the event of an earthquake, they fall outside and not on the Taj dome. The latter is framed by two symmetrical buildings. The one on the left, oriented towards the west, is a mosque active - especially on Friday - but not the other. To access the mausoleum, you will need to déchausser: barefoot, you will feel better cold marble!
Inside, you will discover the cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. The graves are in the basement. A guide will make you hear the extraordinary echo under the cupola or illuminate the scales of semi-precious stones in marble with its pocket lamp. Respectful silence is in principle requested.
Turn the Taj round and look at the differences in the colour of marble with the rise of the sun: rosé in the morning, white in the day, and golden under the moon. Admire the scales on the walls and around the porticos. Koranic verses were embedded in marble. Take the time to see that the four sides of the building are strictly identical.
Behind the Taj, you will discover the Yamuna, a small temple and women affairées to the laundry. Later, unfortunately, you will also see the chimneys of polluting companies that are wasting the landscape somewhat.
Information on TAJ MAHAL
Open from Saturday to Thursday, from dawn to dusk. Admission: Rs 1,100 + Rs 200 for the visit of the mausoleum. The price includes the entrance ticket, a bottle of mineral water and shoe protectors to put on the square in front of the monument. You will have to leave almost all your belongings at the free deposit box except your money, your camera and your Smartass. Very police check and search at the entrance.
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