Taj Mahal Reopens for Night Viewing
Gazing at this architectural wonder is no less than watching a dream with open eyes. Like a bulbous giant attracting countless moths to its flame, the Taj Mahal draws a myriad of visitors to its astounding pavilions. This breathtaking and world-famous monument is now open for night viewing after remaining closed for almost a year due to COVID-19. Here is all that you need to know about the Taj and the recent development.
Rightly described as 'a teardrop on the cheek of eternity' by Poet Rabindranath Tagore and 'the embodiment of all things pure' by writer Rudyard Kipling, Taj Mahal is a specter that is impossible to miss out the eyes of a wanderer.
Standing out from the rest of the splendorous Mughal Tombs this awe-inspiring mausoleum is a symbol of eternal love. Commissioned by Shah Jahan in the year 1631 in the remembrance of Mumtaz Mahal, his beloved third wife, Taj Mahal has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status and is one among the Seven Wonders of the World.
Topping the traveler’s wishlist, often Taj Mahal is the first spot tourists land up at after they touch down at Delhi. The beauty of this monument is so that incalculable visitors pass through its gates just to take once-in-a-lifetime glimpse.
Rising from the miasma, first sight of the Taj Mahal through the arched entrance is sure to leave you breathless. Characterizing a perfect marriage of craftsmanship, symmetry, and design, nothing could ever match the brilliance of the Taj, which is beyond belief.
You must have seen the Taj Mahal in pictures, but a night view of this awe-inspiring monument unfurling right in front of your eyes is far more personal.
The moment is magical when at night the massive dome appears electroluminescence that seems to emit bluish-white light. Shadow-play of the towering minarets under the moonlight encircles the onlookers with a whimsical aura. Surrounded by dark haze, the Taj set against the backdrop of ebony-colored sky sprinkled with a cluster of million stars, and the full moon offers an everlasting experience worth witnessing with your naked eyes.
You may call it haunting beauty or inevitable magnificence, sighting the Taj Mahal at night is similar to losing oneself to a trance.
Starting from 8:30 to 9 PM, 9 to 9:30 PM, and from 9:30 to10 PM, there are 3-time slots available for the visitors.
Tickets must be booked a day before the date of Night Viewing from the office of Archaeological Survey of India (A.S.I.) 22, Mall Road, Agra between 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. Night Viewing Ticket can be canceled in the above-mentioned office on the day of viewing up to 1 P.M. as per the cancellation rules.
Note: Night Viewing of the Taj Mahal is closed every Friday & during the month of Ramzan.
Location – built across the river from the tomb, later buried under silt, the moonlight garden adds a religious undertone to the Taj’s riverfront location with 8 rooms of the tomb representing the hasht bihisht (eight paradises) and the River Yamuna representing the rivers of honey and milk that wait for the virtuous.
Perfect Symmetry – from the luminous dome to marble partitions and towering minarets, the Taj Mahal characterizes perfect symmetry along an axis running right through the middle of the main dome. The grave of Shah Jahan on one side of the grave of Mumtaz Mahal is found to be the only break in the symmetry.
Pietra Dura - The Taj features pietra dura, the finest and the most intricate inlay work involving semi-precious stones. It is also adorned with a graceful tracery of filigree scrollwork, flowers, leaves, and Islamic motifs, performed in jasper, marble, lapis lazuli, malachite, carnelian, and other colored stones.
Calligraphy - The four pishtaqs (arched recesses) on four sides of the Taj are framed by passages from the Quran executed in elaborate calligraphy. The calligraphy increases in size as it ascends the walls of the monument, but appears to be consistent if viewed from the ground.
Gardens – the main gardens both inside the complex and across the river are a mirror image of the charbagh, the four gardens of heaven, with flowerbeds in the shape of rub el hizb (Islamic star) and water splitting each into four equal parts.
The Minarets – the four towers set at the corners of the tomb featuring balconies and stairways were built to permit a muezzin to call the Muslim devotees for prayer although they were never put to use. Taking a close look at the minarets, you will notice that they are slightly inclined outwards. This is done just to make the towers collapse away from the mausoleum in the case of an earthquake.
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