Luxury Taj Mahal Tours

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Perhaps the world's greatest architectural tribute to love, luxury Taj Mahal tours focus on a mausoleum complex built in the 17th century by a sorrowing Indian emperor. Mumtaz Mahal--"Chosen One of the Palace"--died in childbirth in 1631. Her husband Shah Jahan, who reigned from 1628 to 1658, built this exquisite memorial in her honor. Luxury Taj Mahal tours have become India's finest de facto tourist attraction.

Amazingly, the closer one gets to the white marble façade, the more perfect it becomes. Sprawling over 42 acres (17 hectares), the complex took 22 years to complete and cost between four and five million rupees. More than 20,000 workers from India, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Europe labored over it. Designed and conceived according to the dictates of Mughul building practice (meaning no subsequent additions or alterations), the complex is based on five principle elements.

The Focus of Luxury Taj Mahal Tours

These elements, as expert guides to luxury Taj Mahal tours point out, are the gateway, the garden, the mosque, the jawab, and the mausoleum. The mausoleum is white marble, with four nearly identical façades. The central dome rises 240 feet and is surrounded by four lesser finials. The acoustics within the dome, deliberately engineered, cause a single flute note to reverberate five times.

The garden surrounds the complex of mausoleum and flanking jewab (to the northeast, facing west) and mosque (to the northwest, facing east). Both jewab and mosque are red Sikri sandstone, contrasting in color and texture the marble of the mausoleum. The garden is classical Mughul, a square with long waterways in each quadrant designed to reflect the buildings. The gateway, also red sandstone, is ornately designed with the Arabic calligraphy and pietra dura elements that repeat throughout the complex.

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