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The Taj Gardens - Bageecha Any visitor, who visits the Taj Mahal, once he gets over the initial incredulity at the sheer splendor of the vista, gradually attunes himself to the overall planning of the landscape. By the time, the visitor is able to get back his breath; he is able to appreciate the surrounding greenery around the edifice in an otherwise drab scenario, keeping in view the overall quality of vegetation in and around Agra city. It is very clear that the design and plan adopted around Taj Mahal is not indigenous to the region, but has in fact been imported as an alien architectural concept. If one evaluates the garden around the Taj Mahal while keeping in view other such Mughal landmarks in north India, it appears that the basic style of these gardens was adapted from contemporary Persian practices, which try to incorporate a brazen artificial approach to garden planning by attempting to correspond to hypothetical heavenly perfection through use of a few techniques. This style started right from the days of architectural experiments made by Babur, the founder of the dynasty and continued thereafter. The typical Persian stress on delicacy and symmetry and a fascination for flowers, leaves and birds is apparent a la Persian gardens, which in any case is a predominant desert region.

The second major influence on the planning in the premises at Taj Mahal is the predominance of Islamic motifs and metaphors. As, number four has a major symbolic value in Islam, this number appears to have been liberally applied in all calculations in its primary form or in its multiples. As an example, the Taj garden has been laid out in a quadratic scheme, with two marble canals have been laid out to feed the flower pots and the fountains. The cypress trees, which symbolize death in Islamic traditions, are planted in neat rows in the centre, thus separating the garden in four equal squares. Each of the garden quarter has been further sub-divided by raised pathways into sixteen flower beds. The central lotus pond has been designed adroitly in such a way that it reflects the Taj Mahal perfectly to add to its effect. Interestingly, one gets a clear, unhindered view of Taj Mahal from any spot in the premises, which is not obstructed by any intruding tree or any other such device. The planners adroitly placed the row of cypress trees and the fountains along the northsouth water canal, which indicates that much thought was given to the placing of each and every single device to calculate the net aesthetic impact of its placing. The evergreen crest of the cypress trees gets reflected in the water pond and form a live, rich green halo around the dazzling white reflection of Taj Mahal, thus highlighting its beauty by the contrast. About Author – He is an extensive traveler and eminent writer. His recent Agra day trip to inspired him to write on Taj Mahal Gardens



Taj Mahal Garden - Prominent part of Taj Mahal