Taj Mahal – Most Photogenic Monument Of The World

34

Taj Mahal most photogenic monumentCameras were not yet born when Taj Mahal was built. But some prophecy must have told its builders to build something that every camera and camera holder would love. The way they have given an outward slant to the Minar’s so that they look straight in perspective or the way they have joined together simple elements that when put together look so elegant is just what the cameras today love.

Entrance Gate of Taj Mahal
Entrance Gate

When I was traveling through Spiti Valley in Himachal, I was told that you do not need to be a photographer, you can point your camera anywhere and you are bound to get a good picture – for the place is so damn beautiful that it is nearly impossible to get a bad picture. I could say the same words about Taj as well. You just point your camera towards this pristine white building and you cannot go wrong with your picture.

First View of Taj from the arch of the Gate
First View of Taj from the arch of the Gate

You can click the Taj from the front, from the back, from the side, from a distance or from close up, you will always smile at the result. You can go in different seasons or at different times of the day to get a different background and the white Mahal would reflect a bit of surrounding to give you a different mood, to make you feel as if you are meeting a different building while remaining distinctly just that.

Panoramic view from Mehtab Bagh
Panoramic view from Mehtab Bagh
The Corner View that tells you it is Octagonal
The Corner View that tells you it is Octagonal

Iconic Taj Mahal images

An iconic view of Taj Mahal
An iconic view of Taj Mahal

I also noticed that the way the walkways are allowed around, almost everyone gets a clean image of the monument. In fact, later at the UP Travel Writer’s conclave in Lucknow, I got to hear that the authorities have made sure that visitors can always get their iconic Taj Mahal image and nothing comes between them and the monument. I was thankful and I was impressed.

Jali Work, Inlay Work, Calligraphy on the side walls
Jali Work, Inlay Work, Calligraphy on the side walls
Floral Inlay work that used to have precious stones
Floral Inlay work that used to have precious stones
Geometric borders in Yellow & Grey inlay work
Geometric borders in Yellow & Grey inlay work
Floral Corners - mostly restored
Floral Corners – mostly restored
Plain Squares with geometric borders
Plain Squares with geometric borders
Carved Marble decorations
Carved Marble decorations
Play of marble carving and inlay on a border that goes around the base of Taj
Play of marble carving and inlay on a border that goes around the base

Finesse

If you look at the parts of Taj Mahal in isolation – they are quite simple. There are no complicated carvings. Even the inlay work is simple – it is the finesse that it is done with that makes it special. The way all the pieces come together to be a masterpiece is worth appreciating. If I have to translate it to Management Jargon, it is a perfect example of average workers coming together as a brilliant team.

White Minar contrasting with the red of the mosque
White Minar contrasting with the red of the mosque
All White view of Taj Mahal
All White view
How the Minar's frame the Taj
How the Minar’s frame the Taj
Detail of the Minar - a window, a door, a parapet, and delicate carving and of course inlay work
Detail of the Minar – a window, a door, a parapet, and delicate carving and of course inlay work

I enjoyed playing with the Minar angles and clicking through the arches.

Entrance gate view through the corridor arch
Entrance gate view through the corridor arch
Red arched corridor and the corner tiered watchtower
Red arched corridor and the corner tiered watchtower
Detail of the red sandstone entrance gate of Taj Mahal
Detail of the red sandstone entrance gate of Taj Mahal
Elegant watchtowers in Red Sandstone
Elegant watchtowers in Red Sandstone
West facing Mosque in red Sandstone
West facing Mosque in red Sandstone
A mirror image of Mosque to give symmetry
A mirror image of Mosque to give symmetry

I liked the Red sandstone as much as the sparkling white of Taj. Yes, the white shines through and shimmers as sun rays play with it, but the Red sandstone has an elegance that is difficult to match.

View from Taj Khema
View from Taj Khema

Economy

Whenever I visit these monuments that have a whole economy running around them, they bring prominence to the region by sheer presence, I feel the greatest contribution of such monuments is that they still continue to be a source of livelihood for so many and a thing of joy for even more.

Details of front facade
Details of the front facade

These creations may have served a small purpose in their creator’s life, but for generations, they feed the people who take care of it, people who tell its stories to the visitors and even more important than that is the joy it fills in the people who visit it. I saw people looking at it as a dream come true. There were many who saved for years to be able to visit the Taj. I saw the excitement on the faces as they stood in long queues to get the first glimpse of the monument. It was a pleasure to see them posed with an ear-to-ear smile on their faces – just as they had dreamt of for years.

Garden view of Taj Mahal
Garden view of the monument

Those 22,000 builders of the monument must be smiling somewhere in the sky looking at the creation they left the world with. And a creation that was fortunate to catch the world’s eye in a way that it is well taken care of.

Practical Tips

The base of Taj Mahal from Yamuna Front in Agra
The base of the monument from Yamuna Front in Agra
  • Do visit it early morning if possible, as soon as the sun rises and the gates are opened for public.
Morning Light on the monument
Morning Light on the monument
  • Visit once when the sun is setting. I visited it from the Mehtab Bagh in the evening. And you get pretty good shots from there too, including the two red buildings on its side.
  • If you can, plan to visit during full moon night and go for the evening view. For me, this is still pending.
  • If you want to see the real graves of the couple – Shahjahan and Mumtaj Mahal, visit it when the underground chamber is opened to the public once a year. Since they follow a lunar calendar you need to check the date in the year you plan to visit.
  • Avoid going on Saturday morning, as the water in the fountain, channels are filled on Saturday. And you would miss your reflection shots on this day.
Another detail of the Taj Mahal Front facade
Another detail of the Front facade

I visited Taj Mahal more than 30 years ago as a primary school kid. I had some vivid memories of visiting it. It was not so isolated then, we could just take a rickshaw or a Tonga to its gate. Buy a ticket and walk in. Today you probably need a full day to visit it.

What to read

Taj Mahal reflecting in the water
Reflecting in the water

There is so much written about the UNESCO World Heritage site. I have nothing much to add. Go to the ASI website for most authentic information or other World Heritage Sites in India.

Read more

Recommended you read Places to Visit nearby and in Uttar Pradesh on my Travel Blog.

Fatehpur Sikri – city rooted in Saint’s blessings

Itmad-Ud-Daula Tomb – a daughter’s tribute

The rhythm of Chaos on the ghats of Ganga in Varanasi

Evening Aarti at the ghats of Ganga, Varanasi

Finding Kabir in Kashi

34 COMMENTS

  1. Taj mahal is one of the seven wonder in the world. It is build by Shah Jahan, grandson of Akbar the great, in the memory of his queen ‘Mumtaz Mahal’. It is located in Agra and made by white marbles. Taj Mahal is one of the best tourist places in India.

  2. Your pictures are stunning! Make me want to visit asap! Love the different angle through which you have captured its beauty!

    Your tips are definitely useful!

  3. Miss/Smt. Anuradha Goyal,
    I really enjoyed photographs of the structures in pretious stones, clicked by you.
    The eminance and perfections of the carvings are beautifully copied by your optical
    device. Wish you success in camerawork in Indi Tales.
    Thankyou,
    DASAN P S.

  4. Hi Anuradha Mam

    That’s another amazing post on Inditales.com.
    Thanks for that mam.
    All of the details which you mention are very helpful while exploring.
    We must Follow all of them while guiding.

    Anyways, that’s an amazing post. Keep up the Great Work.
    ALL THE BEST

  5. Taj Mahal is a sign of love. It’s a very beautiful monument. Every year so many people visiting “TAJ MAHAL”.
    It’s in made in Octagonal shape. The way you express each and every angle of taj mahal it really needs appreciation.
    I like your photography really nice click. I like the front view of the Taj Mahal and the Entrance Gate of Taj Mahal in your pictures.
    Thanks for this precious article, Keep it up.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here