Trip Start Sep 28, 2005
103Trip End Jun 24, 2006
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Miles travelled: 24935
One of the most beautiful buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal, was our highlight for today. Famous for its symmetry and form, the Taj was completed in 1654, a 22-year task undertaken by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife. It's constructed of 22,000 metric tons of white marble, inlaid with semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli, jasper, carnelian, coral, and garnet. The top of the dome is over 220 feet high.
We also visited the "Baby Taj", an earlier memorial built for the grandparents of the woman who is memorialized in the Taj. Though much smaller, this monument was one of the first to be built in white marble with stone inlay, and is in some ways even more intricate than the famous Taj.
On our way to Agra yesterday, we visited Fatepur Sikhri, which was the capital of the Mughal empire for a short time. The buildings and mosque there are constructed of red sandstone which is mined locally, with ornate carvings on the pillars and beams.