India is a land of monuments which are marvels of architectural skill. The hindu kings of ancient India built beautiful temples which are a class by themselves in architectural skill and craftmanship. The Mughal emperors built mosques and monuments which are commendable for their beauty and intricate designing. There is the Buland Darwaza of Fatehpur Sikri, the Red Fort of Delhi, Charminar of Hyderabad and so on. But the most remarkable piece of architecture is the Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan was very proud of this monument and did not want it to be ever copied copid by anyone. It is said that he chopped off the hands of the architect who designed it so that he would never be able to design another such monument.

The beauty of the Taj Mahal has to be seen to be believed. It is built entirely of white marble. The building consists of a dome in the centre with four minarets on each of the four sides. A marble pathway leads to the main building. On all sides there are luscious well-maintained lawns and tall trees at regular intervals.

Inside the main building, beneath the central dome, in a dark chamber are the graves of the Emperor and the Empress. Multicoloured pieces of glass arranged in intricate designs decorate the walls. There are also lines from the Holy Quran engraved on the walls. The entire flooring is of marble as are the walls. Hundreds of tourists visit the Taj Mahal every day and yet it is kept spotlessly clean.

The Taj Mahal is ofcourse a beautiful sight during the daytime, but it appears to be truly majestic inthe moonlight, especially when there is a fool moon. Then the structure outlined against the dark sky with the silver light with the silver light of the moon shedding its pale glow and myraids of stars twinkling makes the Taj Mahal appear a fantasy, a dream in marble, as it shines in serene splendour. Its breathtaking beauty makes one stand still and gaze at it till it is imprinted in one’s mind and heart.

The one truly sad feature of this monument in the present day is that it is in danger of being spoilt by the industrial growth which has developed nearby. The white marble is said to be turning yellow owing to the toxic fumes emitted by the factories. Although every effort known to science is being made to treat the marble so that it retains its original pristine glory, yet so far it has not been very successful. It can only be hoped that something truly foolproof would be discovered so that this precious monument can be preserved for the generations to come.

The Taj Mahal has been declared one of the world heritage sites by UNESCO. In the year In 2007, the Taj Mahal was declared one of the 7 wonders of the world by the New7Wonders Foundation. The Taj Mahal is one of the greatest tourist attractions in India. Infact, no trip to India would be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal. Its breathtaking beauty makes one agree with the poet who said, “If on earth there be any bliss, it is this, it is this, it is this.”




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