Taj Mahal tour is not only about the seeing the mausoleum in white marble, but also its surroundings, especially the Taj Garden – Charbagh. In Islamic style of architecture, the garden is not just another feature but has a well-defined meaning and it symbolizes the spirituality. According to the Holy Koran, a garden is symbolic of paradise. In Islam, it is believed that there are four rivers in paradise, one of water, other of milk, the third of wine, and fourth of honey. From this concept the Charbagh style of garden planning took root.
On entering the Taj Gateway, you can view a sprawling garden in front of you going all the way up to the plinth of the Taj. The Taj Garden covers most part of the Taj complex in Agra. Out of a total area of 580 m by 300 m, the Taj Garden alone covers 300 m by 300 m. The guiding principle in creating this garden is one of the symmetry and it can be experienced everywhere.
After the completion of Taj Mahal the four regions of the garden within the Charbagh was divided into 16 flowerbeds, making a total of 64. It is said that each flowerbed was planted with 400 plants. Trees were planted carefully in accordance with the symmetry of the overall plan. The trees, which were generally preferred, were either cypress (Cuprussus) (signifying death) or different fruit bearing trees (signifying life). These trees were home to many birds, which migrated from distant places to enhance the liveliness of the Taj Mahal. The water channels were filled with colorful fishes. Royal guests were invited to the tomb – so the stables and guesthouses were also built.
The Charbagh or the Taj Garden today is the only peaceful region in the entire Taj Mahal complex and is highly popular with visitors for framing photos of the Taj with the surrounding foliage.
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