Gateway to the Taj, Agra
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the entrance gateway to the Taj Mahal, taken by an unknown photographer during the 1880s. The Taj Mahal was built between 1632 and 1643 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r 1628-58) as a mausoleum for his wife Arjumand Banu Begum, also known as Mumtaz Mahal. The mausoleum stands at the northern end of enclosed gardens entered via a grand portal, the Great Gateway, to the south. This photograph represents the exterior of the gateway viewed from the south-east. While the Taj mausoleum is made of white marble, the gateway is built of red sandstone and is crowned by 26 delicate marble chattri domes. Its façade is inlaid with floral, geometric and calligraphic designs in marble, including inscriptions from the Quran set in the rectangular frame surrounding the central pointed arch which is dated to 1647.