Taj Mahal: Marble & Semi-precious Stones

There were two things that struck me when we visited the Taj Mahal. First of all is it’s size. It’s massive, much bigger than I realised. Second is the beauty and detail of the decoration. Construction began in 1632 and it is little wonder then that it took a workforce of apparently 20,000 craftsmen and labourers some 22 years to complete.

The luminous white marble, which changes colour depending on the overhead conditions, was quarried in the neighbouring state of Rajasthan and had to be transported the 300km to site by hundreds of elephants. The thousands of pieces of semi-precious stones used for the exquisite inlay work (including onyx, jade, jasper, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, carnelian, turquoise, agate, amethyst and malachite….to name but a few) were sourced from all over Asia and the Middle East.

I hope that the following few photographs convey both the sheer scale and decorative beauty of this most magnificent of buildings:

 © Mark Simms Photography (2014)

18 Responses to “Taj Mahal: Marble & Semi-precious Stones”

  1. Vicki

    Amazing. I never realised it had such intricate inlaid work, Mark.
    Thanks for sharing these close-ups.

  2. LensScaper

    A very good gallery of images. It was the intricate decoration and inlay that surprised me too when I visited.

  3. Noeline Smith

    I never realised it was so intricate – and with precious/semi precious stones too. Thanks for the education Mark!


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