Bill and Sue-On Hillman:
A 50-Year Musical Odyssey
HILLMAN INDIA ADVENTURE
North India: Gallery 21c
TAJ MAHAL IV
To the Tombs and the Journey
PHOTO GALLERIES and TRAVEL NOTES
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The name Taj Mahal means "Crown of Palaces."
Shah Jahan dedicated the Taj Mahal to his wife Mumtaz
Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14h child.
Shah Jahan's other wives and even his favourite servant
are buried in mausoleums just outside of the Taj Mahal.
For the transportation of the construction materials,
more than 1,000 elephants were employed.
Over 20,000 workers were involved in the construction.
As many as 28 different varieties of semi-precious and
precious stones were used to adorn the Taj with exquisite inlay work.
Depending on what time of the day it is and whether or
not thereís a moon at night, Taj Mahal appears to be of different color
Some people think that changing colors of Taj Mahal depict
different moods of a Woman
Passages from Quran have been used as decorative elements
throughout the complex.
On the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, 99 names
of Allah can be found as calligraphic inscriptions.
Taj Mahal was built in stages, with the plinth and the
tomb taking up roughly 15 years. Building of minarets, mosque, jawab, and
gateway took additional 5 years to be completed.
The makers employed an optical trick so that as you move
closer to the Grand Gate, the Taj keeps getting smaller.
Different types of marbles used in construction of Taj
Mahal were brought over from many different regions & countries: Rajasthan,
Punjab, China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Arabia.
Shah Jahan was put under house arrest in 1658 by his son,
Aurangzeb and was only able to view the Taj Mahal from his window for the
last eight years of his life.
Many precious stones and Lapis Lazuli (a semi-precious
stone) were ripped off from its walls by the Britishers during the Indian
rebellion of 1857.
British Viceroy, Lord Curzon, ordered a restoration of
the monument and also gifted a large lamp which hangs in the interior chambers
of the Taj Mahal.
Under English control in the late 19th century, the Taj
Mahalís greenery adopted a subtler character more common to British gardens.
During WWII a huge scaffold was built over the Taj to
Taj Mahal attracts 2-4 million visitors annually with
over 200,000 from overseas.
Only electric vehicles are allowed near the structure
since Taj Mahal's white marble is rapidly turning yellow because of terrible
air pollution in Agra.
Wooden foundations -- once submerged -- are thought to
be rotting and Taj Mahal is actually cracking due to lack of groundwater
beneath the structure.
In 2008, a Bangladeshi filmmaker constructed a replica
of the Taj Mahal at a cost of US $56 million dollars so that his impoverished
countrymen in Bangladesh could enjoy the famous monument without traveling
The Taj Arabia replica -- a luxury hotel and shopping
complex -- is under construction in Dubai. It will be four times the size
of the original and will cost an estimated US $1 billion.
Taj Mahal contains a working mosque and is closed on Fridays
The Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world and is
also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
American Grammy Award-winning blues artist named himself
One of the first selfies taken at Taj were by George Harrison.
He used a fish-eye lens.
Main Entrance to the Mausoleum
The dome ceiling over the tombs
Exit to the rear overlooking
the Yamuna River
Making our way back to the garden
Our last look back at Taj Mahal
before we exit
Our long interesting walk back
to the parking lot
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Design: Bill Hillman: firstname.lastname@example.org
and Sue-On Hillman Eclectic Studio