Day 28 – Dec. 28 – We have arrived in Agra after a long drive.
Our guide has filled us in with history of the area. Remember, the Moguls were Muslims.
We are at the Jaypee Palace Hotel. Very nice.
This morning we are up early to see the Taj Mahal and the Agra Fort.
The building was built by Shah Jahan from 1631 to 1653. There were several buildings that came first, of similar style. They were not as grand, but you can see the source of the design.
The Taj Mahal was built to enshrine the remains of Queen Mumtaz Mahal. It took 20,000 workers, 22 years to create. He body lies in the exact center of the shrine. Shah Jahan lies at her side deep in the earth. The walls are inlaid with semi-precious stones. The light shines through the carved marble grills and splashes on the beautiful geometric tile designs in the massive floor.
There is nothing upstairs. The towers tilt out at three degrees so that they will fall away from the main building if there is an earth quack.
The Shah was imprisoned by his own son and had plenty of time to design and work on details of the Taj Mahal as he was held in captivity. His outdoor cell are is covered in beautiful inlay and designs that he developed before working on the Taj Mahal.
The Agra Fort is on the Yamuna River and is where Shah Jahan was held by one of his own sons. All of these buildings have some aspects of their designs in common. You can see the evolution of the design over the passing years.
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