By Emily Dowling:
Every year over 8 million people stream through the Taj Mahal, capturing the monument through the lens of their camera, as they walk the pathways leading to the sacred tomb. The great white marble mausoleum is one of the most iconic images in the world, however it’s grand appearance is not the only story the marble stone has to tell. What does the Taj Mahal see? If only the walls could speak.
It is said that 20,000 stone carvers, masons, and artists from across India and as far as Turkey and Iraq were employed to build the ‘Wonder of the World’. The mausoleum itself is built almost entirely from marble, with rare and semi-precious stones used for intricate inlay and detailed work.
Completed between 1631 and 1648, the Taj Mahal continues to draw crowds of admirers from across India and the world.
The Taj Mahal is considered the ultimate symbol of eternal love, as it’s creation was ordered by Queen Mumtaz Mahal for her husband, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Today the two remain side by side, laid to rest within the walls of the Taj Mahal.
Standing tall against the banks of the Jamuna River in Agra India, the Taj Mahal provides shade for its guests congregating at the rear of the monument.
Environmental sanctions are in place not only within the grounds of the Taj Mahal but also in the surrounding areas, in a bid to reduce pollution and deterioration.
While millions of people gaze up at the majesty and brilliance of the Taj Mahal, the Taj Mahal too looks down at the beauty that surrounds it; a beauty found in the people – the devotees and the first timers.