Camel drivers waiting at S.E. side of gateway to the famous Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Photographer: Ricalton, James
Medium: Photographic print
Stereoscopic photograph of camel drivers at the gateway to the Taj Mahal at Agra in Uttar Pradesh, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan (r.1628-58) as a memorial to his favourite wife Arjumand Banu Begum, also known by her titles Mumtaz Mahal (Chosen of the Palace) and Taj Mahal (Crown of the Palace). Work on the tomb began in 1631 and by 1643 the entire complex was almost complete. The main entrance, the Great Gateway was built in 1648. It is faced with red sandstone and inscribed with passages from the Qur'an with twenty-six marble chatris, or domed kiosks on its roof. This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect, which were sold together with a book of descriptions and a map with precise locations. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century.