Friday, December 28, 2012

India - The Taj Mahal

Where has the time gone?  I meant to get the pictures posted sooner, but time flies around the holidays.  So, here are the pictures that were taken when I went to the Taj Mahal in November 2012.  Click here for a brief history.

We toured the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort on the same day.  I'll post picture of Agra Fort later.  Just know that by the end of the day, we were worn out!

Here's the entrance to the Taj Mahal grounds.  At this point, we have not even seen part of the structure itself.  This place is HUGE!  The 'tent' you see there is a security checkpoint.  They were at every place we visited when we were there.


After we went though the entryway, this is what we saw to the left and right of us.  From what our tour guide said, these openings were offices for the various supervisors that were overseeing the building of the Taj Mahal.  Each supervisor had a unique rug in his office for identification.  For instance, a supervisor may have had a rug with a rose as the design.  If someone needed that supervisor, they would send a runner and ask for the 'rose' supervisor.  There were so many managers on this project, and so many workers, it was the most practical way to get things done. 

A side view of the offices


Here I have stepped into one of the offices and taken a picture.  You can see several other offices too.  Note the symbols above the doorways, this was probably an identifier for the various supervisors as well (my guess).  I can't remember the number of offices on the grounds, but I do know that the ones you see here weren't even 1/4 of them.  There were a LOT.

Here is the building everyone has to go through to see the Taj Mahal.  It is called Darwaza.  The main gateway (darwaza) is a monumental structure built primarily of marble which is reminiscent of Mughal architecture of earlier emperors. Its archways mirror the shape of tomb's archways, and its pishtaq arches incorporate the calligraphy that decorates the tomb. It utilizes bas-relief and pietra dura inlaid decorations with floral motifs. The vaulted ceilings and walls have elaborate geometric designs, like those found in the other sandstone buildings of the complex.  From this distance you can already see the balance and artwork in this amazing structure.


All the artwork you see here on the front of the building has been done in marble and other stone material.  The actual work is called pietra dura.  Seeing the tourists here also gave me my first clue as to the amount of people we would be seeing.


Here I am, in front of the entrance to the Taj Mahal.



Going through the gateway

My first peek at the Taj Mahal.  The smog was bad in Agra, it did clear up some in the afternoon though.  The little dots you see at the base of the structure are people.  The big dots you see at the bottom of the picture are people too.


Some garden landscaping




You can see some of the building detail here.  Did I mention it was huge?

We had to either take our shoes off or wear booties when we went into the Taj Mahal.  Since it was a sacred place, we were not allowed to have our shoes touch the grounds.

On either side of the Taj Mahal were two building, one of them is a mosque and the other is a jawab (answer), whose primary purpose was architectural balance, although it may have been used as a guesthouse. 

A picture of the Taj Mahal before we climbed the steps to the grounds.

One of my co-workers (Phil) wanted to get a picture of the guy with the gun.  So I told him to take a picture of me, but 'miss'.

The entrance to the Taj Mahal.  We were not allowed to take pictures inside the building.  Click here for more facts about the Taj Mahal.











A close up of the outside artwork.


This technique is actually called pietra dura.   It is a term for the inlay technique of using cut and fitted, highly-polished colored stones to create images or artwork.

My last look at the Taj Mahal.

3 comments:

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    1. Thanks Voyce..... I gotta get the pictures of Agra fort posted too. Maybe this weekend....

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