Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Udham Singh - Love for his country


Other Names: Sher Singh,Ram Mohammed Singh Azad, Shaheed-i-Azam Sardar Udham Singh

Birth Place: Sunam, Punjab

Date of Birth: 22 December 1899

Date of Death: 31 July 1940

Movement:Indian Independence Movement

Major organizations: Ghadar Party, Hindustan Socialist Republican Association

Udham Singh fought for Liberation by Revolutionary movement;

Udham singh was born on December 26,1899 at Sunam in Punjab. He was named Sher Singh. When he was four years old, he lost his parents and he along with his brother was admitted in a Orphanage in Amrister where he got a new name Udham Singh by passing Sikh initiation rites.

Udham Singh involved in Revolutionary movement for India’s Independence.

On April 13,1919,British Indian Army soldiers under the command of Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer opened fire on an unarmed gathering of men, women and children at Jalianwala Bagh. The firing lasted about 10 minutes to 15 minutes and 1650 rounds were fired (33 rounds per soldier).
Udham Singh witnessed this massacre of his country men falling prey to British Soldiers gun shots and was deeply hurt to see the death of innocent people. At that moment he took pledge in Golden temple to avenge the bloody act.

About Jallianwala Bagh Massacre:

On April 13,1919, over twenty thousand unarmed Indians, mainly Punjabis , peacefully assembled in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, to listen to several prominent local leaders speak out against British colonial rule in India and against the arrest and deportation of Dr. Satya Pal, Dr. Saifuddin Kitchlew, and few others under the unpopular Rowlatt Act. Udham Singh and his mates from the orphanage were serving water to the crowd on a warm summer afternoon.

After few minutes, a band of 90 soldiers armed with rifles and khukris (Gurkha short swords) marched to the park accompanied by two armoured cars with mounted machine guns. The vehicles were unable to enter the Bagh owing to the narrow entrance. Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer was in command. The troops had entered the Bagh by about 5:15 PM. With no warning to the crowd to disperse, Dyer ordered his troops to open fire, concentrating especially on the areas where the crowd was thickest. The attack lasted ten minutes. Since there was only one exit not barred by soldiers, people tried to climb the walls of the park. Some also jumped into a well inside the compound to escape the bullets. A plaque in the monument says that 120 bodies were plucked out of the well alone.

By the time the smoke cleared, hundreds of people had been killed and thousands injured. Official estimates put the figures at 379 killed (337 men, 41 boys and a six week old baby) and 200 injured, but other reports estimated the deaths well over 1,000 and possibly 1,300.

Udham Singh mainly held Michael O'Dwyer who was Lieutenant Governor of Punjab that time, responsible for this massacre. The incident had greatly shaken young Udham Singh and proved a turning point in his life. After bathing in the holy sarovar (pool of nectar), Udham Singh took a silent vow and solemn pledge in front of the Golden Temple to wreak a vengeance on the perpetrators of the crime and to restore honour to what he saw as a humiliated nation.

Udham Singh then started traveling to all places supporting the revolutionary activities. He was inspired by Bhaghat Singh very much.

Once while he was in Lahore, for possessing weapons illegally he was imprisoned for 4 years.
On his release during 1932, he found his stay in India extremely difficult and so he decided to leave India. He went to Europe in 1933. After traveling widely in Europe, he reached London and stayed there. His unfulfilled pledge of taking revenge for Jallianwala bagh massacre kept him restless and thinking over the ways to fulfill his pledge.

Finally, On April 13th, 1940, almost 21 years after the Jallianwala Bagh killings, a meeting of British officials was being held in Caxton hall in London where Michael Dyer who is main cause for Jallianwala incident too present there. At the end of the meet, all of a sudden Udham took out his pistol and shot at Dyer. He was hit twice and died immediately.

In the picture: Smiling Udham Singh (in center) leaving Caxton Hall after his arrest.

He also shot at Lord Zetland who was secretary of India and he was injured but not seriously.

Udham after shooting, didn’t managed to escape. During his trial in court he said he did it and Dyer deserved that punishment.

Udham Singh had told the court at his trial:

"I did it because I had a grudge against him. He deserved it. He was the real culprit. He wanted to crush the spirit of my people, so I have crushed him. For full 21 years, I have been trying to wreak vengeance. I am happy that I have done the job. I am not scared of death. I am dying for my country. I have seen my people starving in India under the British rule. I have protested against this, it was my duty. What a greater honour could be bestowed on me than death for the sake of my motherland?"

On July 31,1940 he was hung to death. During his trial he also asked to handover his remains to India. But after his death the British government didn’t handover his ashes. Later by 1975, by the request of Punjab constituency to Indian Government, the Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi urged British Govt to give Udham’s remains to India. The British Govt finally handover his remains to Indian Government and he was given Martyr Welcome. People of India especially Punjab people gathered to pay homage to the hero and he was cremated in his birth place Sunam and his ashes were immersed in holy Ganga Water.

Though he died, his boldness, courage, bravery and selfless love for his country and his people impress every Indians.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Nobel Prize

Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize is awarded for outstanding contributions in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Economics and Physiology or Medicine. This award is a Sweden-based international monetary prize.
The man behind the Nobel Prize is ALFRED NOBEL a Swedish chemist, industrialist, he is also the inventor of the high explosive dynamite. The foundations of the Nobel Prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth for its establishment. It took almost 5 years to establish the Nobel Foundation to execute the plans and to overcome various hurdles. The first prize was awarded on 10th December 1901.

The committees and institutions serving as the selection boards for the Nobel Prizes typically announce the names of the laureates in October month.
The award were presented to the laureates in the ceremonies held annually on 10 December, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.

The official name for Nobel Prize for ECONOMIC is the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel It is not actually one of the Nobel Prizes, which were established by the will of Alfred Nobel during 1895. The first Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded in 1969.

The Nobel laureates are selected by respective Nobel Committees. The following institutions are specifically designated in selecting laureates and also take responsible for prizes:
  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences- a committee consists of five members responsible for the Prizes in Physics, Chemistry and Economics. In 1968, the Sveriges Riksbank established the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economics in Memory of Alfred Nobel. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences was given the task to select the Economics Prize Laureates starting in 1969.
  • The Swedish Academy a committee of four to five members responsible for the Prize in Literature.
  • The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institute - for prize in Physiology or Medicine.
  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee consists of five members elected by the Norwegian Storting(the Norwegian parliament)responsible for Peace Prize.


The Nobel Laureates take center stage in Stockholm on 10 December when they receive the Nobel Prize Medal, Nobel Prize Diploma and document confirming the Nobel Prize amount from King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. In Oslo, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates receive their Nobel Peace Prize from the Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the presence of King Harald V of Norway. An important part is the presentation of the Nobel Lectures by the Nobel Laureates. In Stockholm, the lectures are presented days before the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony. In Oslo, the Nobel Laureates deliver their lectures during the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony.

The Nobel Peace Prize ceremony has been held at the Norwegian Nobel Institute (1905–1946); at the Aula of the University of Oslo (1947–1990); and most recently at the Oslo City Hall.

There is no Nobel Prize in Mathematics, which has led to considerable speculation about why Alfred Nobel omitted it.
*A maximum of three laureates and two different works may be selected per award. Each award can be given to a maximum of three recipients per year.

*In this year(2009) 5 of the 13 new Nobel Laureates are women, the largest number ever to join the ranks in a single year.

*From 1901 to 2009, a total of 829 Nobel Laureates have been awarded the Nobel Prize, comprising 806 Nobel Laureates and 23 organizations.

CategoryNumber of Nobel Laureates
Physiology or Medicine195
Literature 106
Peace 97 + 23organizations
Economic Sciences64

Two Nobel Laureates were honoured in different Prize categories — Marie Curie was awarded the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, and Linus Pauling was awarded the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize. Four other Nobel Laureates, two individuals and two organizations, received the Nobel Prize more than once in the same category. This makes a total of 802 individuals and 20 unique organizations who have received the Nobel Prize.

Persons or Organizations who has won more than once:
  • Marie Curie received the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics, and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry;
  • John Bardeen received the 1956 and the 1972 Nobel Prize in Physics;
  • Frederick Sanger received the 1958 and the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry;
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (Comité International de la Croix Rouge) received the 1917, 1944 and 1963 Nobel Peace Prize;
  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees received the 1954 and the 1981 Nobel Peace Prize;
  • Linus Pauling received the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 1962 Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel Prize are forbidden to be awarded posthumously.

*Mahatma Gandhi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize five times between 1937 and 1948 but never received the prize, being assassinated on 30 January 1948 two days before the closing date for the 1948 Peace Prize nominations. The Norwegian Nobel Committee had very likely planned to give him the Peace Prize in 1948 as they considered a posthumous award, but ultimately decided against it, and instead chose not to award the prize that year.

The Nobel Laureate receives three things:
  • a diploma,
  • a medal and
  • a document confirming the prize amount.

The grant is currently 10 million SEK, slightly more than US$1.4 million.

If there are two winners in a particular category, the award grant is divided equally between the recipients. If there are three, the awarding committee has the option of dividing the grant equally, or awarding one-half to one recipient and one-quarter to each of the others. It is not uncommon for recipients to donate prize money to benefit scientific, cultural or humanitarian causes.
The strict rules against a prize being awarded to more than three people at once is also a cause for controversy. Where a prize is awarded to recognize an achievement by a team of more than three collaborators, inevitably one or more will miss out.

Two laureates voluntarily declined the Nobel Prize:

  • Jean-Paul Sartre, who was awarded the Literature Nobel Prize in 1964. He explained for his refusal- He said he did not wish to be "transformed" by such an award, and did not want to take sides in an East vs. West cultural struggle by accepting an award from a prominent Western cultural institution. However somedays before Nobel committee announced the award, Sartre had written a letter to the Nobel Institute, asking to be removed from the list of nominees, and that he would not accept the prize if awarded, but the letter went unread.
  • Lê Đức Thọ - He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 jointly with Henry Kissinger for their efforts in negotiating the Paris Peace Accords intended to establish peace in Vietnam. However, he declined to accept the award, stating that there was still no peace in his country.

Adolf Hitler constrained three laureates not to accept the Nobel Prize; however, they were given their prizes after the end of the Second World War:
  • Richard Kuhn, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938
  • Adolf Butenandt, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1939
  • Gerhard Domagk, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1939

The Soviet Union government also constrained Boris Pasternak not to accept his Nobel Prize in Literature in 1958. The Nobel medal was finally presented to Pasternak's son, Yevgeny, at a ceremony in Stockholm during the Nobel week of December 1989


The Nobel Prize medals in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine and Literature have identical obverses: it shows the image of Alfred Nobel and the years of his birth and death (1833–1896). Nobel's portrait also appears on the obverse of the Nobel Peace Prize Medal and the Medal for the Prize in Economics, but with a slightly different design. The image on the reverse varies according to the institution awarding the prize. All medals made before 1980 were struck in 23 carat gold. Today, they are made from 18 carat green gold plated with 24 carat gold. They each weigh approximately 200 g and have a diameter of 66 mm.

The Nobel Prize Medal for Physics and Chemistry:

The medal of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences represents Nature in the form of a goddess resembling Isis, emerging from the clouds and holding in her arms a cornucopia. The veil which covers her cold and austere face is held up by the Genius of Science.

The inscription reads:
Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes

loosely translated "And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery."
The name of the Nobel Laureate is engraved on the plate below the figures, and the text "REG. ACAD. SCIENT. SUEC." stands for The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The Nobel Prize Medal for Physics and Chemistry was designed by Erik Lindberg.

The Nobel Prize Medal for Physiology or Medicine:

The medal of the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute represents the Genius of Medicine holding an open book in her lap, collecting the water pouring out from a rock in order to quench a sick girl's thirst.

The inscription reads:
Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes

loosely translated "And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery."

The name of the laureate is engraved on the plate below the figures, and the text "REG. UNIVERSITAS MED. CHIR. CAROL." stands for the Karolinska Institute.

The Nobel Prize Medal for Physiology or Medicine was designed by Erik Lindberg.

The Nobel Prize Medal for Literature:

The medal of the Swedish Academy represents a young man sitting under a laurel tree who, enchanted, listens to and writes down the song of the Muse.

The inscription reads:
Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes

loosely translated "And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery."

The name of the Laureate is engraved on the plate below the figures, and the text "ACAD. SUEC." stands for the the Swedish Academy.

The Nobel Prize Medal for Literature was designed by Erik Lindberg.

The Nobel Peace Prize Medal:

The face of the medal of the Norwegian Nobel Committee shows Alfred Nobel in a pose slightly different from that of the other medals. The inscription is the same.

The other side of the Nobel Peace Prize medal represents a group of three men forming a fraternal bond.

The inscription reads:
Pro pace et fraternitate gentium

translated "For the peace and brotherhood of men".

"Prix Nobel de la Paix", the relevant year, and the name of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is engraved on the edge of the medal.

The Nobel Peace Prize Medal was designed by Gustav Vigeland.

The Medal for The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel:

The medal for The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel shows the North Star emblem of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, dating from 1815, with the words "Kungliga Vetenskaps Akademien" (The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences) around the edge.

The upper half of the face of the medal depicts Alfred Nobel, but in a pose different from the one appearing on the Nobel Prize Medals.

Around the upper edge are the words:

Sveriges Riksbank till Alfred Nobels Minne 1968
(The Sveriges Riksbank, in memory of Alfred Nobel, 1968)

The lower half displays the bank's crossed horns of plenty. This design distinguishes it from the medals of the five prizes awarded under the terms of Alfred Nobel's 1895 will.

The name of the Economics Laureate is engraved on the edge of the medal.

The Medal for The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel was designed by Gunvor Svensson-Lundqvist.

ALFRED NOBEL(21 October 1833–10 December 1896) WILL:

Alfred Nobel is responsible for designation of Nobel Foundation and is behind the task of awarding the outstanding performances in fields from physics, chemistry, maths, physiology or medicine.

In his last will and testament, Alfred Nobel specifically designated the institutions responsible for the prizes he wished to be established: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for the Nobel Prize in Physics and Chemistry, Karolinska Institute for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Swedish Academy for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and a Committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) for the Nobel Peace Prize.

His last Will is as follows:

The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way:

"The capital shall be invested by my executors in safe securities and shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work of an idealistic tendency; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.

The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical works by Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm; and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my expressed wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, so that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be Scandinavian or not."

Alfred Nobel's Will

Thursday, October 22, 2009



ताज महल

Taj Mahal is a Mausoleum built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is located in Agra, Northern Uttar Pradesh, India. Taj Mahal (also knows as Taj) depicts the fine architecture work of the Mughals, which is a combination of elements of Persian, Indian and Islamic architectural styles. Taj mahal inspired all kinds of peoples like musicians, poets, lovers, architects. It is one of the Wonders of the World.

Taj is considered as Shrine of Love. Also described as Epitome of love, Symbol of Love as it depicts the love of Shah Jahan for Mumtaz.

Taj from banks of river Yamuna

In 1634, they started to work on this monument and continued for almost 22 years(ie in 1653). It is also said that Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan chose the site in the city of Agra on the banks of the river Yamuna, such that it is clearly visible from his fort. In 1631 Shah Jahan was deeply affected by sorrows, after his third wife Mumtaj Mahal died during the birth of their fourteenth child. After one year of her death, ie on 1632, the construction work of Taj Mahal was started. Ustad Ahmed Lahauri of Persia was the chief designer of this great monument.

The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and gardens were finished 5 years later. More than 22 thousand labourers were involved in the construction work and over 1000 elephants were used for transportation purposes.

The Taj is enclosed in a garden amidst fountains and ornamental trees. The walled complex includes mosques, a rest room/guest house and an imposing gateway. The tomb is encased in white marble which is decorated with flawless sculptures and inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy cut from precious gems. Below the dome, in a dimly lit chamber, lie the mortal remains of Shahjahan and his beloved queen Mumtaz, which reminds the world of their undying love.

The White domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component.

Taj in full moonlight is considered to be the best view

The Taj views at different stages of a day inspired everyone. The silver light of the full moon shines upon the cool white dome of the Taj Mahal, softly glowing in the night air. The extreme magnificence and beauty of the Taj can be appreciated fully in the subtle moonlight. However, the radiance of dawn and the orange glow of sunset also give light to the splendor of this most beautiful monument of India. Even in the bright light of the day, this wonder of the world shines with an awe-inspiring loveliness.

View of Taj

Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 1983. It is one of the universally admired masterpieces of world's heritage.

According to Islams, Taj Mahal represents the purest form of Islamic architecture. Taj is considered as the most perfect buildings the world had ever seen. Though Taj is intended to be a commemoration of the memory of Shah jahan's beloved wife Mumtaj, in reality, it is his gift to the entire human race.


Shah Jahan was fifth Mughal ruler, ruled in the period between 1628 to 1658. The name Shah Jahan comes from Persian meaning "King of the World". He was third and favourite son of Emperor Jhangir. When he was born in 1592 in Lahore, he was named Prince Khurram Shihab-ud-din Muhammad. The name Khurram meaning "Persian for joyful" was given by his grandfather Akbar.

At the age of fifteen, Khurram was to marry Arjumand Banu Begum, the grand daughter of a Persian noble, who was 14 years old at the time. They would, however, have to wait five years before they were married in 1612, on a date selected by the court astrologers as most conducive to ensuring a happy marriage. After their wedding celebrations, Shah Jahan felt she is so precious to him and he gave her title Mumtaz Mahal which meant Jewel of the Palace. Mumtaz was Shah Jahan's third wife. Though he had many wives, he was very attached to Mumtaz compared to his other wives.

Mumtaz traveled with Shah Jahan's throughout his earlier military campaigns and the subsequent rebellion against his father. She was his constant companion and trusted confidant. Mumtaz died in Burhanpur in the Deccan (now in Madhya Pradesh) during the birth of their fourteenth child, a daughter named Gauhara Begum. Her body remained at Burhanpur for 23 years until the Taj was completed. After completion of Taj, her coffin was shifted to Taj Mahal. There was also some rumours like her last wish to the emperor was - a symbol or a monument to their love. She also asked her husband not to marry anyone. Shah Jahan as he promised built the Taj Mahal, which shows his love and affection towards her and a homage to her beauty and life.

Soon, after completion was Taj, Shah Jahan was dethorned by his son Aurangzeb and was put under house arrest at nearby Agra fort. He passed his last days viewing the Taj Mahal from Agra fort. After his death, Aurangzeb buried him in the mausoleum next to his wife Mumtaz.

Now, the Taj Mahal stands as the ultimate monument to love.

Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:
Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator's glory.

An Aerial View of Taj

A View from satellite

Taj Mahal complex comprised of five major parts namely,
  • The Main Gateway(Darwaza-i-rauza)
  • The gardens(Bageecha)
  • The mosque (Masjid)
  • The rest house(Naqqar Khana)
  • The main mausoleum (Rauza)
1.The Main Gateway:
Period of Construction:1632-1638

The Gateway is in southern side, which is used as entrance to Taj. The gateway is 151 feet by 117 feet and rises to a height of 100 feet(30 feet). The archways of the gateway is similar to that of main dome archways and also contains calligraphy of verses from Quran. The small domed pavilions on top are in Hindu style and signify regality. A striking feature of the gateway is that the lettering appears to be of the same size. The engravers have skillfully enlarged and lengthened the letters which create an illusion of uniformity.

Tourists can enter the main compound by a small gate at the side of the main gate.

2. The Gardens:
The gardens are divided into 4 large sections and this open area of parks and waterways before the Taj Mahal is known as the charbagh (a formal Mughal garden divided into four parts) which is around 300 square meter. Charbagh is a Persian style garden layout.

View of gardens from main gateway

At the Center of the Charbagh is a Lotus Pond or a marble water tank. Taj is reflected in this pool. The raised marble water tank is called al Hawd al-Kawthar which means "Tank of Abundance".
The garden is divided in to four quadrants, with two marble canals studded with fountains crossing in the center and the stone-paved pathways divide these each four quadrants into 16 flowerbeds.

The garden is laid out with avenues of trees and fountains

The central path has fountains along its middle and cypress trees on either side. We can get clear view of Taj from any positions in Garden. The trees of the Taj garden are either that of Cyprus (signifying death) or of the fruit bearing type (signifying life) and even they are arranged in a symmetrical pattern.

3.The Mosque:
The Mosque is of red sandstone present in the western side of the Taj Mahal. It has four octagonal towers and 3 domes. It is used for prayer purposes, the mosque faces the direction of the holy city of Mecca. The mosque got 539 prayer carpets.


4.The Rest House (Jawab):

The rest room(Naqqar Khana) built opposite side to mosque (Eastern side).

The Rest House is in Eastern part, it is also called as jawab (answer). Some believe that the rest house is built to have symmetrical view. The rest house is same like Mosque. The purpose of this rest house is never known yet. It is never used for prayer as it faces away from Mecca, the holy place of Muslims and it is also never used for guest house purpose.

Interior of Jawab

The difference between Mosque and Rest room is that- the mosque floor was laid with outlines of 569 prayer rugs/carpets in black marble while the the floors of Rest Room have a geometric design.

5. The Main Mausoleum(Taj):
The entire mausoleum (interior as well as outside) is decorated with inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy using precious and semi precious gems.

The mausoleum itself was complete by 1643, but work continued on the rest of the complex.

The Taj Mahal is situated on a raised platform that is over 6 meters high. The main mausoleum contains the false Sarcophagus(Coffins) of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz. The actual tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal are in the basement below the platform. The underground chamber/crypt contains the actual remains of Shah Jahan and the crypt was plain and the faces of shah jahan and Mumtaz were turned towards right side, thus pointing the Mecca direction.
The caskets of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan are decorated with gems and inscribed with calligraphy which list the 99 names of God.

The tombs of Shah Jahan (larger one)
and Mumtaz

The cenotaph of Mumtaz is incribed with - "Marqad Munavvar Arjumand Ban Begum Mukhatib bah Mumtaz Mahal Tanifiyat ferr sanh 1040 Hijri" (Here lies Arjumand Bano Begum called Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1040 A.H. or 1630 A.D.).

The cenotaph of Shah Jahan is inscribed in Persian - "Marqad Mutahar Aali Hazrat Firdaus Ashiyani Sahib-qiran Saani Saani Shah Jahan Badshah taab surah sanh 1076 Hijri" (The sacred sepulchre of his most exalted Majesty, dweller of Paradise, the second lord of constellations, the king Shah Jahan, may his mausoleum ever flourish, 1076 A.H. (1666 A.D.).

Another view of Tomb

The Tomb/Cenotaph of Shah jahan is bigger than his wife Mumtaz's tomb, and it was the asymmetric element in the entire taj. The cenotaph base and casket was decorated with precious and semi precious stones. The calligraphy in the tomb identifies and praises Mumtaz and Shah Jahan in their respective tomb. On the lid of this casket is a traditional sculpture of a small pen box. The pen box and writing tablet were traditional Mughal funerary icons decorating men's and women's caskets respectively. 99 God names were found on the calligraphy of the caskets.

The entire complex of Taj Mahal measures 1,902 feet x 1,002 feet on each side. The entire structure of the Taj, rests on marble pieces of square platform which is of total length 186 feet by 186 feet and forms an unequal octagon due to the chamfer at the angles.Each element stands on its own and perfectly integrates with the main structure.It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and a symmetry of architectural elements.
The entire site was leveled to a fixed height about 50 meters above the riverbank. The Taj Mahal is 180 feet tall. The dome itself measures 58 feet in diameter. Its height about 35 metre and is accentuated as it sits on a cylindrical "drum" of about 7 metre high. The four smaller domes or minarets surrounds it. The height of a minaret is 41.6 mt. The base in which Taj Mahal rests is called Mahajar-e-Mushababbak and it was designed by Turkish designers.

ONION DOMES & CHATTRIS The dome is made of white marbles and heights Because of its shape, the dome is often called an onion dome (also called an amrud or guava dome). The top of the dome is decorated with a lotus design, which serves to accentuate its height. The dome is topped by a gilded finial, which mixes traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements.
The dome shape is emphasized by four smaller domed Chattris (kiosks) placed at its corners. The chattri domes replicate the onion shape of main dome. Their columned bases open through the roof of the tomb, and provide light to the interior. The chattris also are topped by gilded finials.

The main finial was originally made of gold but was replaced by a copy made of gilded bronze in the early 19th century. This feature provides a clear example of integration of traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements. The finial is topped by a moon, a typical Islamic motif whose horns point heavenward. Because of its placement on the main spire, the horns of the moon and the finial point combine to create a trident shape, reminiscent of traditional Hindu symbols of Shiva. FINIAL

MINARETSThe four minarets at each corner of the plinth provide a perfect balance to the tomb. The minarets measure 41.6 m high and each has a deliberate slant outwards so that in an unlikely event of an earthquake, they would not fall on the tomb but away from it.

Above the tombs is a Cairene lamp, the flame of which is supposed to never burn out. Marble screen of trellis work surrounds the graves. Both tombs are exquisitely inlaid with semi precious stones.

Screen Surrounding the Cenotaph

This is Marble made Jali Screen, of trellis work, surrounds the Cenotaphs, which is inlaid with semi precious stones on surface.

Closer View of Jali Screen Works

Piecework in Jali Screen

Archway of Jali screen screen
Entrance to Cenotaphs

Closer view Inlay

Inlay(jali screen)

Carvings in Taj

Archway of Taj

Calligraphy Inscriptions:
The calligraphy is made by jasper inlaid in white marble panel

Due to Pollution, the taj is fading and losing its attraction day by day, especially the white dome structure fades due to air pollution and also due to negligence of authorities and people.

More recent threats have come from environmental pollution on the banks of River Yamuna including acid rain due to the Mathura oil refinery which was opposed by Supreme Court of India directives. The India government hired a panel to examine the effects of the refinery on the Taj Mahal. The panel found that the air has high levels of suspended particulate matter, caused by factory emissions, dust, construction, and exhaust from automobiles. These are causing the Taj Mahal to change color. To help control the pollution, the Indian government has set up the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), a 10,400 square kilometer area around the monument where strict emissions standards are in place.

Some Experts warns that the Taj Mahal is sinking as the nearby areas were drying. As a matter of concern the River Yamuna too trickles.


*Period of construction: 1632-1653(22 years).
*Location: Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.
*Number of workers involved: more than 20,000.
*Over 1000 elephants used.
*Total Estimated Cost: 32 million Rupees.

*Architects: Amanat Khan Shirazi was the calligrapher of Taj Mahal, his name occurs at the end of an inscription on one of the gates of the Taj. Poet Ghyasuddin had designed the verses on the tombstone, while Ismail Khan Afridi of Turkey was the dome maker. Muhammad Hanif was the superintendent of Masons. The designer of Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
*The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia.
*Architecture: Indo-Islamic; a blend of Indian and Persian.

*Highlights: One of the Seven Wonders of the World, UNESCO World Heritage Site(1983).

*Height of Taj Mahal: 180 feet(over 55 meter)
*Height of Dome: 44.41 meter (from base of drum to finial).
*Height of Minarets (smaller domes): 41.6 m.
*Gardens measuring 300 x 300 mt in the form of a Charbagh
*Main gate of red sandstone measures 30 mt in height and is 151 feet by 117 feet.

*The chief building material, the white marble was brought from the quarries of Makrana, in district Nagaur, Rajasthan.
*Red sandstone was brought from Fatehpur Sikri, Jasper from Punjab, Jade and Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli and Sapphire from Sri Lanka, Coal and Cornelian from Arabia and diamonds from Panna.
*28 kind of rare, semi precious and precious stones were used for inlay work in the Taj Mahal.

*During Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Taj Mahal was disfigured as the British officials and Soldiers chiseled out precious stones from walls of Taj Mahal.
*In the 19th century the British viceroy Lord Curzon, declared a restoration project for Taj Mahal, which was completed by 1908. The British remodeling of the garden is still evident in the lawn styling.

*Night viewing of Taj Mahal has been allowed from 28th November 2004 for five nights in a month (which includes the Full Moon night and two days before and after) except Fridays and the month of Ramzan.
*The name Taj Mahal when translated means "Crown Palace" or "Crown of the Palace."


*Some think that the changing colors of the tomb depict the different moods of a woman.

*Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, the first European visitors to the Taj Mahal said that Shah Jahan want to build a Mausoleum using BLACK marbles for himself opposite to Taj mahal, across Yamuna River. But it was not accomplished due to war with his sons. And he was dethroned by his son Aurangzeb before it could be built.

*There is also a story that during the rainy season, a drop of water falls on the cenotaph, which inspired Rabindranath Tagore to write "one tear-drop...upon the cheek of time".

*Another myth suggests that beating the silhouette of the finial will cause water to come forth. To this day, officials find broken bangles surrounding the silhouette.


  • Entry Fee for Indians: Rs. 20 (INR)
  • Entrance Fee for visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 20 per head.
  • Entry Fee for Others: Rs. 750 (500 rupees to Agra Municipal Corporation (levy charges) and 250 Re - Entry amount/Archaeological Survey of India).
  • Children younger than 15 years are free.
  • Indians- Rs. 510(adult)
  • Foreigners- Rs. 750(adult)
  • Children from 3 yrs to 15 yrs- Rs. 500
The Taj Mahal is also open for moonlight viewing from 8.30 p.m. until 12.30 a.m in eight batches of 50 persons for half an hour duration, two days before and after each full moon. Night time tickets cost 750 rupees(for adults) for foreigners and 510 rupees(for adults) for Indian nationals, for half an hour’s admittance.Cost for Children ( 3Yrs to 15 Years age) is Rs. 500/-. These tickets must be purchased 24 hours in advance from the Booking Counter located in the office of Archaeological Survey of India office, Agra Circle, 22 The Mall, Agra, Uttar Pradesh in between 10-00 am to 6-00 p.m.

#Taj Mahal Closed on Fridays; open for offering prayer in the mosque between 12 Noon to 2 P.M. and on Ramzan day.

#Visiting Hours : The Taj is open from 6 AM to 7:30 PM every day except Friday.

#Get there as early as possible to beat the crowds, and plan to visit the Taj at least two different times during the day (dusk and dawn are best) in order to experience the full effect of changing sunlight on the amazing building. It is also utterly stunning under a full moon.

#For security reasons only five items—water in transparent bottles, small video cameras, still cameras, mobile phones and small ladies' purses—are allowed inside the Taj Mahal.

#We can also keep other belongings in the clock room (a free service), outside Taj Mahal entrance gate.

#Cameras - Still cameras free, video Rs 25; No video camera is allowed in side the monument during the night viewing.

#There is only one point of access to the plinth and tomb, a double staircase facing the entrance. One has to remove shoes over or can put on the shoe covers which are provided at a nominal cost by the staff stationed there for this purpose.




*Source - Wikipedia, ASI and Others
*Note: If you got any interesting information or anything to tell, feel free to comment. Your Suggestions will help us to improve further.