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Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Taj Mahal though a misty view

I think the Taj Mahal is well-documented enough that I don't need to go into greater historical detail, but it probably goes without saying that it is a great work of architecture, art, religion and one could say, love. As it is, we're looking at it here through the mists of time. Or a really hazy Agra day...

Krishnan Joshi, my guide, was great. He's a young man in the process of getting his own travel agency off the ground and I'm happy to refer him to one and all. He's on Facebook, so if you want to contact him directly for a tour, please feel free (I think). His knowledge is encyclopedic and he's just a really terrific guy.

With no further ado, I'm posting these photos with no commentary (although that's subject to change).

Bear this image in mind; these patterns are integral. The next post on Agra will deal with the carpet manufacturing and these patterns are key. From this angle, these read as three-dimensional elements, but it's worth considering the Taj Mahal as a multidimensional/multivalent text. I would say that the decor and flourishes that you see here aren't merely for decorative purposes. What they signify falls outside the scope of what I could possibly incorporate into this blog.

Here is the floor from a different perspective where the design takes on an almost electric movement.

Photo by Krishnan of your intrepid hero.

Krishnan took this one, too (much to the consternation of the guard in the tomb) to show the luminosity of the colors of the inlay. 

Here you can see where restoration is underway.

A sura from the Glorious Qu'ran. I forget how many there are, but this gives a literal spin to the concept of the structure as a text. More importantly, it adds a living/lived element to the experience of being there. I told Krishnan that I would ideally like to spend the entire day at the Taj Mahal. Between this and Fatehpur Sikri, I could spend a good couple of weeks in reflection.

This is an admittedly foggy view of the walkways to the building. It's sad not to see the symmetry clearly, but there's a beauty to the hazy nature of the pictures. Particularly, in the last four photos from the Raja's garden.


  1. realy very useful, i will like to see taj with the guide Kishan

  2. and kishan, could u plz suggest me from where i can get the best carpets of geometrical designs of taj in agra.