Early morning at Taj Mahal
Take a close look at this picture. You can say Wow, now. But first, let’s put some sweet on the cake: this photograph is not photoshopped! Amal Mongia is the author of this photo and here is his note on the picture: “january 06 – early morning – taken with lubitel – expired ektachrome slide film expired – cross processed”. I admit, it’s one of the most beautiful photos of Taj Mahal I’ve ever seen. No doubt, Taj Mahal itself is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture from all over the world but the colors in this photograph make him a bit unreal, like in a dream. I’m pretty sure emperor Shah Jahan would like this photo too.
Standing on the southern bank of the Yamuna River, Taj Mahal dominates the views from the nearby Agra city. Its white domed marble shines into the sun changing its color several times as hours pass each day, just like magic. It’s a perfect simmetry on all the axis and its arch-shaped doorway leads the tourists inside the large dome. It’s obvious why it’s called the jewel of the architectural art in India.
Taj Mahal is a tomb, a mausoleum, at the same time is a celebration of love, being commissioned by emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess he loved so much. The emperor was grief-stricken when she died during the birth of their 14th child. She made him promise her four things: to build her a tomb, to re-marry, to love his sons and daughters and to visit her from time to time. But surely she didn’t expect such a wonder being build for her in the name of their love.
The garden surrounding the mausoleum is also astounding. The pathways divide each of the four quarters of the complex garden into 16 sunken parterres with flowerbeds. The water pool at the center of the garden on precisely north-south axis reflects the image of the mausoleum. Myths say the emporor wanted to build a similar tomb for himself, woth only black marble. It doesn’t exist as the emperor was overthrown by one of his sons before it could be built. Some say the black Taj Mahal is the dark reflection of the white Taj Mahal in the water from the water tank. Fact is the emperor’s tomb is situated next to his wife’s, in the centre of the dome.