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Portrait of the Taj Mahal | by Shabbir Ferdous
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Portrait of the Taj Mahal

"one tear-drop...upon the cheek of time"


It was a very hot day, I don’t know the humidity level, but I was sweating like a pig like rest of the visitors. The previous night when I reached Agra, it rained briefly. I washed my clothes in the hotel and let those dry, but it got soaked again with the rain. I was sort of panicking for a foul weather following day. The morning broke out with a grey sky, very dry and very humid. My hotel was very close to the Taj, but for the little walk in that day I lost my interest venturing out much.


Entry fee to the Taj is a total joke. For us, the SAARC(South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation and its member countries are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan & Afghanistan) countries, the ticket price is 20 Rupees, and local government tax is 500 Rupees, for other countries, it’s around 700 rupees. For Indians, its only 20 Rupees including all sorts of tax. Recently, SAARC took an effort to make this ticket price same as Indians. We heard from our country that its now same as Indians. Central government of India agreed to this, but regional government didn’t reduce the tax. So basically, it’s the same story as it was before, but in documents India showed it reduced the ticket price for every SAARC countries. They gave me a free bottle of water with that ticket!


I been to the Taj before, I remember the 1st time I saw Taj, it impressed me! When I met the Taj after 15 years later, it short of made me sad. The colour of Taj is not the same; there were public writing on its priceless marvels. There were a bit of repairing going on here and there, basically they are replacing old historic building materials with newly modern materials with the help of local cheap labor. If you are an Indian and reading this, please step up!


In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal Empire’s period of greatest prosperity, made this world wonder for his 3rd wife Mumtaj Mahal who died during the birth of their fourteenth child. it was finished in 1648.


There are some myths surrounding the construction of this legend. One of the interesting myth is about selecting the architect of Taj. They were invited to throw priceless jewels in the river. They were dazzled by the priceless jewels and hesitated to waste those in the river. Only one emptied his whole boat which was full of jewels in the river. He was the main architect assuming he will build the best without worrying about the price. 2nd one is, after finishing the work, their hands were cut off so that they cant reproduce same thing anywhere else.


Taj Mahal is an inspiration, it kept the world fascinated. Its considered one of the Jewel of Muslim Art. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer of the Taj Mahal.



Lens: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Camera: Canon EOS 5D

Location: Taj Mahal, Agra, India


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Taken on September 16, 2008