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Have you ever tried to measure a skyscraper? It isn't easy! Do flagpoles count? What about spires? And, for buildings still on the drawing board, how do you keep track of the ever-shifting construction plans? To compile our own master list of World's Tallest Buildings, we use skyscraper statistics drawn from several sources.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Taj Mahal, Agra

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, The Taj Mahal, continues to attract the record number of tourists every year - from two to three million. French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited it just recently. The popularity of The Taj Mahal made one major florist company develop the special kind of red roses and called them Taj Mahal - these roses are expected to be very popular for the Valentine's Day, and every man will finally be able to give his woman The Taj Mahal.

The structure of Taj Mahal adheres to the Islamic style (Mughal style) of architecture, which flourished in India during the medieval period. The Islamic style of architecture is also referred to as the Indo-Islamic style of architecture.
The various buildings within this sprawling fort complex represent the assimilation of different cultures, which was the mark of the Mughal period. This magnificent monument is set around a Charbagh or ‘four garden’ plan, which is split by watercourses - a reflection of the Persian style.

The Taj Mahal itself is not set within the Charbagh but is located towards the far end of the enclosure near the bank of river Yamuna. Taj Mahal is built on a high plinth, which has four tapering minarets at each corner. At the center of this plinth is an octagonal structure comprising of a central hall, with four smaller halls grouped around it.A central bulbous dome stands atop the roof of the Taj that is surrounded by four chhatris (domed canopy, supported by pillars, mainly seen in Hindu or local monuments and sometimes in Islamic buildings).

The Taj Mahal is a two-storied structure, each having arched recesses with a highly decorated iwan in the middle. The tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shahjahan are actually located in the basement, while their replicas are placed directly above in the upper hall. The Taj Mahal is entirely made of white marble and its pure white walls are decorated with exquisite pietra dura (stone inlay) work. It is said that different types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the intricate inlay work done on Taj Mahal. In spite of its massive proportions, Taj Mahal looks weightless and airy. Each section of this unique monument blends harmoniously with each other to create a perfect unit. The Taj Mahal and the gardens in front of it can be approached through an arched gateway.

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