India's greatest tourist attraction - the beautiful Taj Mahal, at Agra - was visited by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, Jan 29.
India's greatest tourist attraction - the beautiful Taj Mahal, at Agra - was visited by Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh, Jan 29. The sky was dull, and the ancient shrine wasn't seen to the best advantage. In the evening, however, the Queen and Duke spent nearly an hour by themselves at the Taj Mahal, but the noon shone only for brief intervals.
The Queen said: "It was so beautiful that it is worth another trip to India to see the Taj Mahal when the noon is really bright." According to some, it is the most beautiful building in the world. On the first visit, she and the Duke donned red velvet slippers. They were taken inside by four barefoot guides claiming direct descent from the original guardians of the tombs.
The great domed mausoleum, in marble and with slim minarets, is the resting place of Mogul King Shah Jahan and his wife, Mumtas Mahal. It was begun in 1632 and completed in 1650 ... 20,000 men worked daily to complete it. The shrine is set in exquisite formal gardens, and the royal visitors walked round them afterwards. They saw reflections of the shrine in the pools.
Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife. And when he died, he was buried there also. It is the most perfect example of the Mogul style - and is said to have cost more than GBP3,000,000.