“It’s a matter of pride to be photographed with the Taj Mahal,” said Denis, a tourist from Australia. These days, with almost <g data-gr-id="53">every one</g> in possession of a mobile or a digital camera, you can see people taking selfies or posing for a group photograph with friends or relatives.
Now with the Taj Mahal getting its own Twitter handle and the monument complex equipped with <g data-gr-id="52">WiFi</g> facility, no one misses the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shoot and share. The Taj has not lost its charm. It continues to remain the delight of photographers from all over the world.
Lonely Planet’s ‘ultimate travel list’ includes the Taj in the top five tourist destinations in the world. The Taj Mahal is annually visited by over six million people. Unofficial figures are 10 million, as children below 15 do not have to purchase a ticket to enter.
Each day hordes of photographers — both amateurs and professionals — shoot pictures of the white marble mausoleum, bringing joy and excitement to those who pose against its backdrop. “Many feel it’s a fulfilment of a long-cherished dream,” said Amit <g data-gr-id="44">Sishodia</g> of Agra Beats travel agency.
“It’s the architecture, the perspective and the unique backdrop that includes the Yamuna and a whitish skyline that appears to extend to eternity that I find most appealing,” said a city photographer Hemant.
Ramesh Chandra Khandelwal, aged 90 plus, Agra’s oldest photographer who runs the more than a <g data-gr-id="43">century old</g> firm of Priya Lal and Sons, said the Taj Mahal will never lose its fascination and awe.
“It is one building with immaculate, Nayaab dimensions, perfect lighting conditions, such variety of angles and contrasts, what else could a photographer want? And if you take into account its history and the romanticism associated with it, who would not like to be photographed with it,” said Khandelwal.
Wildlife photographer Lalit Rajora, who began his journey 18 years ago from the Taj Mahal, still cannot delink himself from the grand Mughal monument.
“The grand Taj Mahal, with its enticing beauty, has an eternal fascination for me. Its aesthetic beauty, pristine craftsmanship and grandeur attracts me as a photograph does. As a photographer, when this attraction converted into an unfading romance and passion is difficult to tell. All I can say is that the Taj, under the seasonal hues of the sky enkindles my soul, gives wings to my imagination and meaning to my expression and creativity,” said Rajoria.
Vijay Goyal, <g data-gr-id="46">owner</g> of the Speed Colour Lab, who spent 20-odd years at the Taj Mahal, shooting pictures for tourists and VIPs, <g data-gr-id="47">said</g> “I recall the statement of a lady tourist long back. She reacted: ‘Oh my god, this looks much better than the photograph I saw back home’.”
Goyal said the Taj Mahal faces south. “The sun rises from the east on the left and traverses the
whole distance to the right (west) providing different contrasts, shades and colours —never a dull moment. Each angle is different, its symmetry and geometry is perfect and flawless. There is a mix of colours — red <g data-gr-id="50">sand-stone</g> juxtaposed with white marble and a profusion of green <g data-gr-id="56">vegetation,</g> while the shades of blue and white. Rare is a man-made structure in the world that provides such a spectacular variety and mind you, there is no artificial lighting anywhere as for the Eiffel Tower or many other monuments.”