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The Taj Mahal, Agra, NWP.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, NWP.

Photographer: Bourne, Samuel

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 394/(50)

Item number: 39450

Genre: Photograph

The Taj Mahal was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife Arjumand Banu Begum upon her death in 1631. Part of a larger complex of buildings and standing at the northern end of a formal 'char bagh' or four garden layout, the tomb itself is a brick structure then faced in the white marble, quarried at Makrana near Jodhpur, for which it is so famous. The interior and exterior surfaces of the building are inlaid with coloured marbles and gemstones in floral, calligraphic and abstract motifs. The domed white marble mausoleum stands on a plinth with tapering minarets on each corner. To the mausoleum's west stands a triple-domed red sandstone mosque, and to its east the mosque's 'jawab' or compositional echo.

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