Taj Mahal, India

I wondered how someone could love their beloved so much that their dedication to them became one of the wonders of the world.

Taj-Mahal2

Taj-Mahal5

Taj-Mahal1

Taj-Mahal4

Taj-Mahal3

Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. Taj Mahal is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna river.

Taj Mahal was built by a Muslim, Emperor Shah Jahan (died 1666 C.E.) in the memory of his dear wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal at Agra, India. It is an “elegy in marble” or some say an expression of a “dream.” Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. In the tradition of the Mughals, important ladies of the royal family were given another name at their marriage or at some other significant event in their lives, and that new name was commonly used by the public. Shah Jahan’s real name was Shahab-ud-din, and he was known as Prince Khurram before ascending to the throne in 1628.

Taj Mahal was constructed over a period of twenty-two years, employing twenty thousand workers. It was completed in 1648 C.E. at a cost of 32 Million Rupees. The construction documents show that its master architect was Ustad ‘Isa, the renowned Islamic architect of his time. The documents contain names of those employed and the inventory of construction materials and their origin. Expert craftsmen from Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore, and Multan were employed. In addition, many renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara worked on many specialized tasks.

The Taj stands on a raised, square platform (186 x 186 feet) with its four corners truncated, forming an unequal octagon. The architectural design uses the interlocking arabesque concept, in which each element stands on its own and perfectly integrates with the main structure. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and a symmetry of architectural elements.

Its central dome is fifty-eight feet in diameter and rises to a height of 213 feet. It is flanked by four subsidiary domed chambers. The four graceful, slender minarets are 162.5 feet each. The entire mausoleum (inside as well as outside) is decorated with inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy using precious gems such as agate and jasper. The main archways, chiseled with passages from the Holy Qur’an and the bold scroll work of flowery pattern, give a captivating charm to its beauty. The central domed chamber and four adjoining chambers include many walls and panels of Islamic decoration.

The mausoleum is a part of a vast complex comprising of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque (to the left), a guest house (to the right), and several other palatial buildings. The Taj is at the farthest end of this complex, with the river Jamuna behind it. The large garden contains four reflecting pools dividing it at the center. Each of these four sections is further subdivided into four sections and then each into yet another four sections. Like the Taj, the garden elements serve like Arabesque, standing on their own and also constituting the whole.

Advertisements

The Beauty of Paris

Paris-night
I love the night passionately. I love it as I love my country, or my mistress, with an instinctive, deep, and unshakeable love. I love it with all my senses: I love to see it, I love to breathe it in, I love to open my ears to its silence, I love my whole body to be caressed by its blackness. Skylarks sing in the sunshine, the blue sky, the warm air, in the fresh morning light. The owl flies by night, a dark shadow passing through the darkness; he hoots his sinister, quivering hoot, as though he delights in the intoxicating black immensity of space.
9554730667_ab0616ed13_z
In Paris the cashiers sit rather than stand. They run your goods over a scanner, tally up the price, and then ask you for exact change. The story they give is that there aren’t enough euros to go around. “The entire EU is short on coins.”

And I say, “Really?” because there are plenty of them in Germany. I’m never asked for exact change in Spain or Holland or Italy, so I think the real problem lies with the Parisian cashiers, who are, in a word, lazy. Here in Tokyo they’re not just hard working but almost violently cheerful. Down at the Peacock, the change flows like tap water. The women behind the registers bow to you, and I don’t mean that they lower their heads a little, the way you might if passing someone on the street. These cashiers press their hands together and bend from the waist. Then they say what sounds to me like “We, the people of this store, worship you as we might a god.
Louvre

pari

Paris

Paris Arc

I love flowers

Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.

red-flower

Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.

canon

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

crabapples

Life is the flower for which love is the honey.

sunflower

Love is a flower, you’ve got to let it grow.
jannapham

The flower in the spring

Spring flowers are what everyone looks forward to seeing.

There is nothing like walking through a beautiful garden full of brightly colored, beautiful looking and smelling, springtime flowers. This is one of the busiest times for gardeners.

With all the different types of flowers for spring to choose from, one must decide how they want to arrange their garden: by color, style, (meaning bulbs or perennials), or even just your favorites.

They come in many different bright and beautiful colors. The main colors of flowers planted during this season are: red, pink, orange, yellow, blue, purple, and even white.
crocus

rosa

rose

Types of Spring Flowers:

Anemone
Basket of Gold
Bleeding Heart
Brunnera Macrophylla
Candytuft
Columbine
Coral Bells
Creeping Phlox
Crocus
Daffodil
Dianthus
Easter Cactus
Euphorbia
Flame Violet
Forget-Me-Not
Forsythia
Fuchsia Plant
Gardenia
Geranium
Hibiscus Flower
Honeysuckle Vine
Hyacinth
Iris Flower
Lilac Shrub
Lily of the Valley
Lupine
Peony
Periwinkle
Poppy
Primrose
Rhododendron Shrub
Solomons Seal Plant
Tulip
Violet