Taj Mahal ( Agra , INDIA )
The #TajMahal is an ivory-white #marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the #Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the #Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favorite wife, #Mumtaz Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is located on the right bank of the Yamuna River in a vast Mughal garden that encompasses nearly 17 hectares, in the Agra District in Uttar Pradesh. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal with construction starting in 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD, with the mosque, the guest house and the main gateway on the south, the outer courtyard and its cloisters were added subsequently and completed in 1653 AD. The existence of several historical and Quaranic inscriptions in Arabic script have facilitated setting the chronology of Taj Mahal. For its construction, masons, stone-cutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of the empire and also from the Central Asia and Iran. Ustad-#Ahmad Lahori was the main architect of the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest #architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Its recognised architectonic beauty has a rhythmic combination of solids and voids, concave and convex and light shadow; such as arches and domes further increases the aesthetic aspect. The #colour combination of lush #green scape reddish pathway and #blue #sky over it show cases the #monument in ever changing tints and #moods. The relief work in marble and inlay with precious and semi precious stones make it a monument apart.
The uniqueness of Taj Mahal lies in some truly remarkable innovations carried out by the horticulture planners and architects of Shah Jahan. One such genius planning is the placing of tomb at one end of the quadripartite garden rather than in the exact centre, which added rich depth and perspective to the distant view of the monument. It is also, one of the best examples of raised tomb variety. The tomb is further raised on a square platform with the four sides of the octagonal base of the minarets extended beyond the square at the corners. The top of the platform is reached through a lateral flight of steps provided in the centre of the southern side. The ground plan of the #TajMahal is in perfect balance of composition, the octagonal tomb chamber in the centre, encompassed by the portal halls and the four corner rooms. The plan is repeated on the upper floor. The exterior of the tomb is square in plan, with chamfered corners. The large double storied domed chamber, which houses the cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan, is a perfect octagon in plan. The exquisite octagonal marble lattice screen encircling both cenotaphs is a piece of superb workmanship. It is highly polished and richly decorated with inlay work. The borders of the frames are inlaid with precious stones representing flowers executed with wonderful perfection. The hues and the shades of the stones used to make the leaves and the flowers appear almost real. The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal is in perfect centre of the tomb chamber, placed on a rectangular platform decorated with inlaid flower plant motifs. The cenotaph of Shah #Jahan is greater than Mumtaz Mahal and installed more than thirty years later by the side of the latter on its west. The upper cenotaphs are only illusory and the real graves are in the lower tomb chamber (crypt), a practice adopted in the imperial Mughal tombs.
The four free-standing minarets at the corners of the platform added a hitherto unknown dimension to the Mughal architecture. The four minarets provide not only a kind of #spatial reference to the monument but also give a three dimensional effect to the edifice.
The most impressive in the Taj Mahal complex next to the tomb, is the main gate which stands majestically in the centre of the southern wall of the forecourt. The gate is flanked on the north front by double arcade galleries. The garden in front of the galleries is subdivided into four quarters by two main walk-ways and each quarters in turn subdivided by the narrower cross-axial walkways, on the Timurid-Persian scheme of the walled in garden. The enclosure walls on the east and west have a #pavilion at the centre.
The Taj Mahal is a perfect symmetrical planned building, with an emphasis of bilateral symmetry along a central axis on which the main features are placed. The building material used is brick-in-lime mortar veneered with red sandstone and marble and inlay work of precious/semi precious stones. The #mosque and the guest house in the Taj Mahal complex are built of red sandstone in contrast to the marble tomb in the centre. Both the #buildings have a large platform over the terrace at their front. Both the mosque and the guest house are the identical structures. They have an oblong massive prayer hall consist of three vaulted bays arranged in a row with central dominant portal. The frame of the portal arches and the spandrels are veneered in white #marble. The spandrels are filled with flowery arabesques of stone intarsia and the arches bordered with rope molding.
Criterion (i): Taj Mahal represents the finest architectural and artistic achievement through perfect harmony and excellent craftsmanship in a whole range of Indo-Islamic sepulchral architecture. It is a masterpiece of architectural style in conception, treatment and execution and has unique aesthetic qualities in balance, symmetry and harmonious blending of various elements.
Qutb Minar ( New Delhi, , INDIA )
The Qutub Minar, also spelled as Qutab Minar, or Qutb Minar, is a minaret that forms a part of the Qutab complex, a #UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Mehrauli area of Delhi, India
Qutub Minar is a World Heritage Site and has survived the ravages of time impressively. The Minar of Delhi is surrounded by a lush green garden, which is an ideal leisurely place for visitors. Qutab Minar is the favourite destination of tourists. It is India's most visited monument attracting around 3.9 million visitors every year.
Qutub minar, delhi Each of the 5 storeys and tower of Qutub Minar has unique designs.
It was hit by #lightening #couple of times and was damaged. The subsequent rulers repaired it. Thus it is standing mightily as it was before till date.
Qutab #Minar is a great masterpiece of Mughal architecture. The base of the Qutub Minar measures 14.32 meters and the top of the structure measures 2.75 meters. The bird eye's view of Delhi city from the top is amazing. The base of first #storey has alternate angular and circular flutings, the second one is round. The third storey of the #QutubMinar has angular flutings. The balconies projecting out heighten the beauty of the Minar.
The tower is so high that around 379 steps are needed to be climbed to reach the top. Another taller #tower adjacent to Qutub Minar is named Alai Minar which is somewhat tilted in one direction.
The verses from the holy Qur'an are carved on sandstone walls of Qutub Minar. This monument serves the purpose of calling people for prayer in the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. This is a tower of victory, a monument that signify the might of Islam, or a tower for keeping a check for defense.
There are claims and evidence that Qutubminar was built much before by Hindu emperors. Later #Kuttubuddin has replaced the writing on stones. The stones has hindu God pictures on one side and arabic writing on other side.
Stones dislodged from the Minar have Hindu #images on one side with Arabic lettering on the other. Those stones are now in #Museum. These stone represent that invaders used to remove the stone- dressing of Hindu buildings, turn the stones inside out to hide the image facial and inscribe #Arabic lettering on the new frontage.
The Red Fort ( New Delhi, , INDIA )
Red Fort is a historic fort in the city of Delhi in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty for nearly 200 years, until 1856. It is located in the center of Delhi and houses a number of museums.
The Red #Fort, which is also known as the Lal Qila, was constructed by one of the most famous Mughal emperors, Shah Jahan. Built on the banks of river #Yamuna, the fortress-palace was designed by architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. It took 8 years and 10 months to build the magnificent fort. The fort served as the royal residence of the Mughal emperors from 1648 to 1857. It took over the honor of #royal #residence from the famous #Agra Fort when Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi. The #Red Fort derives its name from the red-sandstone walls, which make the fort almost impregnable. The fort, which is located at Old Delhi, is one of the massive and prominent structures of India and is a fine example of Mughal architecture. It is often considered as the pinnacle of Mughal creativity. In modern times, the fort is of importance to the people of India as the Indian Prime Minister delivers his #IndependenceDay speech from the fort, every year on August 15. In 2007, it was declared as #UNESCO World #Heritage Site.
Gateway of India ( Mumbai , INDIA )
The Gateway of India is an arch monument built during the 20th century in Bombay, India. The monument was erected to commemorate the landing of King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder on their visit to India in 1911
The Gateway of India, with its regal arches, stands guard facing the #Arabian Sea at Apollo Bunder in bustling Colaba area of Mumbai. The most popular tourist attraction, it is the unofficial icon of the city of Mumbai and is a reminder of its rich colonial history as #Bombay. The first structure to welcome visitors entering the city by sea, it is popularly called ‘Taj Mahal of #Mumbai’. It stands at the end of Chhatrapati Shivaji Marg at the water’s edge. Visited by tourists and locals alike, the #gateway and its promenade affords a great view of the boat-studded sea and is the connecting point for boat rides to and from the famous Elephanta Caves. The ‘Elephanta Festival of music and dance’ which was earlier held at the Elephanta caves, is now held in front of the Gateway in March every year. It is often confused with the India Gate in Delhi built in the memory of the 82,000 soldiers of the undivided Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War.
India Gate ( Delhi , INDIA )
The India Gate is a war memorial located astride the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the "ceremonial axis" of New Delhi, India, formerly called Kingsway.
At the center of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the #Afghan war of 1919.
The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by #Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later, after India got its independence. The eternal flame burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.
The entire arch stands on a low base of red Bharatpur stone and rises in stages to a huge moulding. The cornice is inscribed with the Imperial suns while both sides of the arch have INDIA, flanked by the dates MCMXIV (1914 left) and MCMXIX (1919 right). The shallow domed bowl at the top was intended to be filled with burning oil on anniversaries but this is rarely done.
During nightfall, India Gate is dramatically floodlit while the fountains nearby make a lovely display with coloured lights. India #Gate stands at one end of Rajpath, and the area surrounding it is generally referred to as 'India Gate'.
Surrounding the imposing structure is a large expanse of lush green lawns, which is a popular picnic spot. One can see hoards of people moving about the brightly lit area and on the lawns on summer evenings.
Golden Temple ( Delhi , INDIA )
Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Darbar Sahib, informally referred to as the Golden Temple, is a Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is one of the most revered spiritual sites of Sikhism
The #Golden Temple Amritsar India (Sri Harimandir Sahib Amritsar) is not only a central religious place of the Sikhs, but also a symbol of human brotherhood and equality. Everybody, irrespective of cast, creed or race can seek spiritual solace and religious fulfilment without any hindrance. It also represents the distinct identity, glory and heritage of the Sikhs. To pen-down the philosophy, ideology, the inner and outer beauty, as well as the historical legacy of Sri Harimandir Sahib is a momentous task. It is a matter of experience rather than a of description.
As advised by Sri Guru Amar Dass Ji (3rd Sikh Guru), Sri Guru Ram Dass Ji (4th Sikh Guru) started the digging of Amrit Sarovar (Holy Tank) of Sri Harmandir Sahib in 1577 A.D., which was later on brick-lined by Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji (5th Sikh Guru) on December 15, 1588 and He also started the construction of Sri Harimandir Sahib. Sri Guru Granth Sahib (scripture of the Sikhs), after its compilation, was first installed at Sri #Harimandir Sahib on August 16, 1604 A.D. A devout Sikh, Baba Budha Ji was appointed its first Head Priest.
The Golden #Temple #Amritsar India (Sri Harmandir Sahib Amritsar) has a unique Sikh architecture. Built at a level lower than the surrounding land level, The Gurudwara teaches the lesson of egalitarianism and humility. The four entrances of this holy shrine from all four directions, signify that people belonging to every walk of life are equally welcome.
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