lørdag 13. mars 2010

Taj Mahal - en kjærlighetserklæring


Figures of marble, aloof, near a river
Empress asleep, remembered forever
Living memorial to Mumtaz Mahal
Yet lives the secret of the Taj Mahal

I år 1631 døde Mumtaz Mahal i barsel. Det var hennes fjortende barn. Hennes mann mogulherskeren Shah Jahan sørget så dypt at han lot bygge et mausoleum til minne om sin kone. Det praktfulle byggverket i hvit, skinnende marmor fikk navnet Taj Mahal - Krone Stedet og ligger i byen Agra ved elven Jamuna i Nord India.

Shah Jahan hadde planlagt å bygge et sort mausoleum til minne om seg selv på den andre siden av elven. Dette ble aldri noe av da mogulen ble avsatt av sin sønn og satt i fangenskap. Etter syv år døde han og ble stedt til hvile ved siden av sin kone.

Taj Mahal er en muslimsk helligdom og en kjærlighetserklæring. Siden 1983 har bygningen stått på UNESCOs liste over verdens kultur- og naturarvsteder. I en global avstemning som ble kunngjort 07.07.2007 ble stedet valgt som ett av de moderne åtte underverkene.

Mausoleet er på sitt vakreste ved soloppgang eller på ettermiddagen, da er ikke lyset så skarpt og man ser bedre alle byggets detaljer.

Selve byen Agra er ingen vakker by, men her finnes også to andre severdigheter som er på Unescos verdensarvliste.

Agra Fort ligger ved Yamunas elvebredd mellom Taj Mahal og sentrum. Denne majestetiske festningen av rød sandstein ble påbegynt i år 1565 av Akbar, den største av mughalkeiserne.

Den tredje attraksjonen er Fatehpur Sikri. Dette er også keiser Akbars verk, en storslagen palassby beliggende 37 kilometer vest for Agra. Palassene er bygd i rosa sandstein og kombinerer muslimsk, kristen og hinduistisk arkitektur. De flotte bygningene står der som et symbol på at på 1500-tallet levde det en mogulhersker som ønsket at verdensreligionene skulle leve sammmen. Grunnen til hans ønske fant man i hans nærmeste familie. Det sies at han hadde tre koner, en muslimsk, en kristen og en hindu og han fikk bygget et palass til hver av dem. I den gamle palassbyen finnes også en moske som kan huse 10000 troende. Fathepur Sikri framstår i dag som verdens best bevarte, ubebodde by. På grunn av konstant vannmangel har byen bare vært ubebodd i fjorten år.

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