About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 38 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 11 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Agra, India 2008 - The city of the Taj...

"You'll miss the best things if you keep your eyes shut..." - Dr Seuss

After breakfast we drove towards Agra , the city of Taj Mahal via Fatehpur Sikri. The distance of about 235 km was covered in about 5 hours.

(A long way to go)

Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569 and abandoned after 15 years due to scarcity of water. The principal buildings of the imperial palace complex, clustered on a series of terraces along the sandstone ridge, formed the core of Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar's city. The royal complex contains the private and public spaces of Akbar's court, which included the harem and treasury.

(The Roya complex of Fatehpur Sikri)

The adjoining sacred complex with the Jame’ Masjid, Salim Chisti's tomb and the Buland Darwaza are separated from the royal quarters by the Badshahi Darwaza, an exclusive royal gateway. Stylistically, it marked the absorption of Gujrat into the Mughal empire and reveals a successful synthesis of pre-Islamic, Hindu and Jain architecture with elegant domes and arches of Islamic building.

(Domes and arches of the building)

Taj Mahal

(The Mughal palaces)

The world famous Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan in 1630 in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The monument said to be one of the most elegant and harmonious buildings in the world, is the manifestation of the wealth and luxury of Mughal art as seen in its architecture, garden design, painting, and calligraphy.

(The majestic Taj Mahal)

The 144 foot double dome of the Taj is capped with a finial and the four minarets each 131 ft high are crowned by an open octagonal pavilion, highlighting the perfect symmetry of the tomb. The filigree screen, meant to veil the area around the royal tomb, was carved out of single block of marble. Mumtaz Mahal's cenotaph, raised on a platform is next to Shah Jahan's. The actual graves are in a dark crypt below and closed to visitors.

The Mughals believed that flowers were the symbols of the divine realm, thus in the Taj pietra dura has been extensively used to translate naturalistic forms into decorative patterns that complement the majesty of its architecture. Inlaid calligraphy in black marble was used as a form of ornamentation on undecorated surfaces, with the size of the Quranic verses increasing as the arch gets higher, creating the subtle optical illusion of an uniformly flowing script.

(Another beautiful palace)

Agra Fort

Agra Fort is a massive structure on the bank of Yamuna River. The entrance is from the south through the impressive Amar Singh gate. To its right is the so-called Jahangiri Mahal, the only major palace in the fort that dates back to Akbar's reign. This complex arrangement of halls, courtyards and galleries was Zenana or the main harem.

(The Agra Fort)

Along the river front are the Khas Mahal an elegant marble hall with a vividly painted ceiling, characteristic of Shah Jahan's style of architecture and two garden pavilions with bangaldar roofs. The Sheesh Mahal and the royal baths are to the northeast, near the gloriously inlaid Musamman Burj, a double storied octagonal tower with clear views of the Taj, where Shah Jahan was said to be imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb.

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