Friday, October 27, 2006

Taj Mahal

I am three days behind posting here due to a good access point to the Internet. We're now more into the heart of the Indian country, but the access to the Internet from the hotels, even in the streets is not improving.

I will have to resort to manual HTML editing due to the crappy connection or browser I have here. I guess that AJAX isn't still very useful here. Sorry for the badly laid out posts:

This is how some people travel on the dual carriage way at 80 km/h:



Finally, we have arrived here at the most important point of our travels, the viewing of the Taj Mahal.



It is an amazing piece of craftmanship and art. The pieces of marble that were used to side the cement on the inside were taken from a place 350 km away. The sandstone was taken from a place 450km away. All by elephants, horses and men. The total time taken to construct the Taj Mahal is 22 years.

The obrigatory photo with the casual joke:



The Taj is not a palace, has never been. It was constructed in loving memory of the favourite wife of the Sjah Razan. However, other people have countered the argument that the Taj was solely constructed out of love, that it was equally constructed for reasons of "showing off".

The colors of the Taj actually change during the day. Especially at sundawn the colors of the marble are more like pink. In the middle of the Taj, you will see 2 tombs. Those are actually false tombs, because the real tombs are kept exactly one level lower, but in exactly the same place. The reasons for doing this, as was explained, is that the Sjah was concerned that people wanted to visit and would also walk on the higher part of the construction. This could mean people walking over the tombs/graves of the person buried there, which is considered desecration.



The place of the tomb is exactly under the center of the middle dome. The tombs are centered in another piece of beautiful art that has been meticulously maintained by the Indian government.

Outside of the Taj, you get a measure of the size of it. At our time, it was already around 1700, so the sun was setting. You may see also a little bit of a shade of pink or dusky yellow. The "floor" on the main foundations is also made of solid marble. All of the marble used in the Taj is of the best quality that you can find in India.

The Sjah actually wanted to construct another Taj on the other side of the river. The marble you see here is white. The idea was to construct a similar building there, but made of black marble. I cannot even imagine the value this would have generated for the region... but it is immense.

The river that runs behind the Taj is the "Jamuna", which is considered a sacred river that has also parts running up to Delhi. If you look at the gardens and the whole, you'll see perfect symmetry in the water, the foundations, the towers, the gardens and the placement of the trees.



It has been a fantastic experience to start seeing it, through the doorway, and the closer you get the more you marvel.

1 comment:

Fernando Pedrosa said...

What an amazing place

Gives you a feeling of old...