Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sites : Taj Mahal - Main Gateway

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Agra, India - February 2013 (A Wonders Of The World Site)

The Main Gateway Building of the Taj Mahal
This blog comes in three parts, this is Part 1 : The Main Gate Way.
To see the other parts click on the link below:
Part 2 : Taj Mahal the icon.
- Part 3 : The Annexes.

Even as a pre-teen I had been intrigued by the Taj Mahal, charmed by its beauty. To me its white marble seems so pure, it's design simple and yet etches into one's mind forever.
So when I got a chance to visit it during a tour to Agra (... see Intoxicating India 2013 Day 6),  it was with feeling of excitement and anticipation. It could not be on a better day for my wife and me to visit this monument than on Valentine's day - visiting a tribute to love on a day of love!

The Taj Mahal (in short affectionally called the Taj) grounds is a restricted area, the public or tourist cannot enter it freely. There are two reasons for this; one is to safeguard it from physical damage and the other is to minimize pollution around the Taj vicinity so as to reduce the effect or corrosive acid rain.

To minimize pollution, private cars and private tour coaches are not allowed within one mile from the site. Tour buses have to stop near the village of Dhandhuputra; from there tourist boards electric coaches like the one above to whisk them to the entrance gate of the Taj. The cost of the electric coach ferry in included into the 500 Rupees entry ticket.

For those who want some romance, horse carriages for two will take them in on a slower idyllic ride in. There is an extra cost for this carriage ride, for those in love it is probably a small some to pay.

The coach drops off tourist for entry through the East Gate. Please note that this is not the Main Gateway to the Taj. It is a gate that leads to an outer compound where tourists join a long queue for a security check before being allowed in.

A signboard placed way before the east gate indicates what items are prohibited. These included arms and the likes. Pens, marker pens, pen-knifes, crayons, etc. are also prohibited in order to prevent disfigurement to the Taj structure and architecture. Video cameras, back-packs, large bags are not allowed inside too.

All visitors have to walk through security scanners and after that a physical check for any of the prohibited items; any prohibited items found will be confiscated (probably that does not apply to the video cameras).

THE MAIN GATEWAY (Darwaza-i rauza)

Pass the security point, is the entry compound to the Main Gateway which can be seen a short distance away.
Hey! if this is "just" an entry compound, then what lies beyond must be even more impressive!

Corridors with perimeter Moghul style arches flank each side of the Main Gateway.

Within the corridors on the far right and left (aligned perpendicular to the gateway) square doorways form a symmetrical pattern.

The domes of the Taj peeps over these corridors, calling us to enter.

In the entry garden compound, a carved stone tablet gives a brief account of the Taj.

Up close the main gate way is even more impressive. Built of red sandstone and lined with white marble archways it stands out contrastingly against the cloudless blue sky. At each of the four corners are citadels topped by domed battlements.

A view of the Main Gateway during the evening setting sun.

A close up view of one of the domed battlements.

Over the tall main archway entrance are a series of domed roofs similar to that of Fatehpur Sikri. Semi-precious stone are inlaid onto the marble panels.

Entering and just within the archway, looking vertically upwards on can see and appreciate the simple geometric patterns of the dome ceiling - formed by triangles within triangles.

Rignt at the top centre of this dome ceiling is a concentric star pattern that seems to radiate the geometric triangles.

At the doorway below the dome ceiling, two looming steel doorways, each more than twenty feet tall, guard the entry. At the bottom of one is a normal size door.

Beyond this in are dark corridor, the Taj can be seen shining brightly through a second archway.
This simple image of the Taj beckons us, so let's go in.

Address: Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India.
Tel.: +91 562 222 6431     Web Site:
GPS: 27.171582,78.041883
Hours:  Taj Mahal Sunrise to Sunset (Friday Closed)
Entry Fee: Foreign Tourist Rp750/- (At time of this blog)

This blog comes in three parts, this is Part 1 : The Main Gate Way.
To see the other parts click on the link below:
Part 2 : Taj Mahal the icon.
Part 3 : The Annexes.

View Taj Mahal, Agra, India in a larger map

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You are at - Jotaro's Blog / Footsteps / India 2013 - Sites / Taj Mahal / Pt.1 Main Gateway     | Go To Pt.2 / Pt.3
If you like this, view my other blogs at Jotaro's Blog
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