The Taj Mahal, Agra, India

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
The Taj Mahal (täj må-häl´) is one of the most beautiful temples in the world. It stands in a garden on the banks of the Jumna River. You enter through an avenue of dark Italian cypresses down whose center sparkles a long row of fountains. The odor of roses and lemon flowers sweetens the air. Before you rises the Taj Mahal of purest white marble, polished so it shines with dazzling brightness. The temple or tomb stands on a lofty platform nine hundred feet square, a graceful minaret rising at each corner. All the sides are exactly alike. Every part is inlaid with ornamental designs in marble of different colors. Around the arches of the portals and windows are inlaid chapters of the Koran, the letters being exquisitely formed of black marble. The Taj Mahal is a holy place for all Mohammedans. Three hundred years ago the Mohammedans ruled India. The Hindus at that time were subject to the Tartars. Shah Jehan, the greatest of these Tartar emperors of Moguls, promised his dying wife to build a tomb "such as no woman has ever before slept in." It took 20,000 men twenty-two years to build the Taj Mahal and cost a million dollars each year the work went on. The vault in which lie Shah Jehan and his beloved wife is paved with blocks of white marble and jasper, and ornamented with a wainscoting of sculptured tablets representing flowers. The tombs are of the purest marble exquisitely inlaid with bloodstone, agate, cornelian, lapis-lazuli and other precious stones. They are surrounded by an octagonal screen six feet high, carved into an openwork pattern of lilies, irises and other flowers. This also is white marble covered with precious stones. The dome contains the most wonderful echo in the world. What are the precious stones named? Keystone ID: 12568 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.