Taj Majal, Agra, India

The view across from the Taj Mahal. (CC BY-SA 3.0 ©2012 Krupasindhu Muduli)


Surrounding the upper level tombs of Shah Jehan and Mumtaz Mahal, or cenotaphs, there runs this screen made of pierced marble slabs. Imagine the skill, patience, and devotion needed to carve these lace-like panels from solid stone. (CC BY-SA 2.5 ©2005 Michael L. Kaufman)

To see more images of marble screens in the Taj Mahal, see this site.


At each corner of the marble platform on which the Taj is built rises a slender, graceful, marble minaret—“a tall court lady tending her Empress.” At sunset a muezzin climbs one of these lovely towers, and calls the faithful to come and pray for the soul of the Queen. (CC BY-SA 3.0 ©2004 Udayadittya)


Stretching across the garden from the entrance gate to the Taj itself, there is a long, narrow, shallow canal, adorned with fountains. In the center of this canal is a raised lily pool made of marble. This pool is five feet deep and thirty feet square. When the author first visited the Taj, he found himself, one moonlit night, locked inside the garden—alone. The pool looked so inviting, he went for a swim in its cool dark depths. (CC BY 2.0 ©2011 M. King)