Daily Photos & Frugal Travel Tips

Archive for March, 2011

31 Mar

Cows Near Agra, India

Cows Swimming Agra India

Cows Getting Out Of Water Agra India

Cows Getting Out Of Water Brown Sari Agra India

Cows in Water Waterbuffalo Blue Sari Agra India

As we took the tour bus from Agra to Fatupar Sikr, we passed by these cows bathing. Our tour guide called them waterbuffalo. They were tended to by several brightly-clad women.

30 Mar

Taj Mahal (Official Sign), Agra, India

Taj Mahal Woman Taking Photo Agra India

Taj Mahal From Garden Sign Agra India

Taj Mahal Inlaid Marble Carving Agra India

The Taj Mahal Sign Agra India

(as per sign)

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal, a marvel on marble, was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in commemoration of his favourite wife, Empress Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan married Arjumand Bano Begum (Mumtaz Mahal), grand daughter of Itimad-Ud-Daula, the Wazir of Emperor Jahangir in 1612 AD. Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631 A.D. at the birth of her 14th child. The grief stricken emperor made all efforts in building the tomb in her memory, which is universally acknowledged as one of the most beautiful creations on earth. After his death in 1666 A.D., Shah Jahan was also buried beside his beloved wife in the Taj Mahal.

Artisans were requisitioned from all over the empire including Central Asia and Iran. While bricks for the internal framework were locally made, White marble for external surfaces was brought from Makrana, Rajasthan. The inscription on the northern fa├žade records 1057 A.H. (1647 A.D.) as the date of its completion in 17 years at a cost of about rupees four crores (40 million) at a time when gold was sold at Rs. 15 per tola (11.66 gm). Shehab-ud-Din-Muhammed Shah Jahan, the grandson of the emperor Akbar had an aesthetic sense for architecture and under his aegis Mughal architecture reached its zenith. It is believed that Ustad Ahmad Lahori was the chief of the project while Ustad Isa Afandi prepared the site plan of the Taj Mahal. Amanat Ali Khan Shirazi is known for his calligraphic work and Ran Mal was the garden designer from Kashmir. The plan of Taj Mahal display strict bilateral symmetry. The central point is the tomb (rauza) and its four minarets, flanked by a mosque and assembly hall (Mehman Khana). The Taj is exactly as wide as it is high (55 mtrs.). A highlight of the monument is the exquisitely carved pietra dura inlaid with semi precious stones.

The Colour of the translucent marble keeps changing from dawn to midnight giving it a magical aura in keeping with Shah Jahan’s vision that the tomb and garden should represent paradise on earth. It is a unique man made manifestation of the glorious Mughal age and a wonder of the world.

29 Mar

Gully Floor Vegetation Zone, Harrison’s Cave, Barbados

Sign Gully Floor Vegetation Zone Harrisons Cave Barbados

Yellow Flower Low Level Harrisons Cave Barbados

Mid level canopy of small trees Harrisons Cave Barbados

Upper canopy of tall trees Harrisons Cave Barbados

(as per sign)

Gully Floor Vegetation Zone

The soil on the Gully Floor is often very deep, rich and moist. This promotes the growth of tall trees that protect the understory vegetation from direct sunlight.

Plants of the Gully Floor can be divided into several vegetation layers, including low-level shrubs, a mid-level canopy of small trees and an upper canopy of very tall trees.

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