throng Taj Mahal to mark 353rd death anniversary of Shahjahan
July 31: A large numbers of
visitors thronged the famed Taj Mahal in Agra today to mark the 353rd death
anniversary of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan.
The celebration which started
on July 29 was concluded today with special prayers offered for communal
harmony and to end terrorism.
A 400 metre long seven-coloured
chadar (sheet) was laid on the graves of the Mughal emperor Shahjahan and
his queen Mumtaz Mahal.
"This year too we are celebrating
this festival with same fervor. Initially, we will offer sandal and after
that there will be a qawwali performance that will continue till 7 in the
evening," said Syed Munawwar Ali, a devotee.
Authorities had beefed up
security arrangements to ensure orderly conduct of programme and crowd
During the anniversary celebration,
the visitors got a rare opportunity to see the graves in the basement of
the mausoleum as normally people are permitted to the replica of the graves
on the first floor (platform).
The Taj Mahal stands on a
marble platform surrounded by ornamental gardens. White minarets grace
each corner and two smaller red sandstone buildings balance the postcard-perfect
image on the banks of the Yamuna River.
Recently the monument was
voted as the New Seven Wonders of the World.
A masterwork produced at
the peak glory of the Mughal dynasty that ruled India for more than three
centuries, the edifice took 22 years to construct and needed an army of
20,000 workers to build the unique tomb by Shahjahan for his beloved queen.
The monument has a rich lore,
including the story that the bereaved emperor who commissioned the monument
of love and beauty was deposed and imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in the
Agra Fort and spent his final days gazing wistfully at his creation.