Family Vacation Spots - Monday, September 7, 2009
Shah Jahan wanted this patch of land so much that he offered the Maharajah Jai Singh a large palace in the center of Agra in exchange for the land!
The completed Taj Mahal complex is bounded on three sides by crenellated red sandstone walls, with the river-facing side left open with the Moonlight Garden. Outside the walls are several additional mausoleums, including those of Shah Jahan’s other wives, and a larger tomb for Mumtaz’s favorite servant.
When Was The Taj Mahal Built?
Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632, one year after the death of his beloved wife. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished in the following 5 years.
A labour force of an estimated twenty thousand workers from across northern India were employed in it’s construction. And the materials to be used came from all over India and Asia. And over 1,000 elephants were apparently employed to move the materials.
Components were from afar and included the marble from Rajastan, the jasper from Punjab, and both jade and crystal from China. The turquoise came from Tibet and the Lapis lazuli from across the hills in Afghanistan. Sapphire was imported from Sri Lanka and the carnelian was Arabian in origin. In total - 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones were beautifully inlaid into the white marble structure.
Who Was The Architect Of The Taj Mahal?
There is no definitive answer to this but Ustad Isa and Isa Muhammad Effendi of Persia who was coached by Koca Mimar Sinan Agha of the Ottoman Empire is frequently credited with a key role in the architectural design.
Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is also considered the most likely candidate as the principal designer of the complex and Ismail Afandi is credited as the main designer of the large dome.
Neighboring Bangladesh has made a life size replica of the Taj Mahal 18 miles northeast of the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.
However, this version only took 5 years to build but was by no means cheaper! It still cost around $58 million for the wealthy Bangladeshi film-maker who wanted it built. He was reportedly building it so that ‘the poor of his nation can realise their dream of seeing neighbouring India’s famed monument’.
Family Vacation Spots - Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tips for finding flights to Orlando
In addition to farefinders: while good farefinders search dozens of airlines, they don't nclude every single one! Southwest Airlines, for example, won't turn up in farefinders; yet Southwest is an important budget airline with flights to Orlando from many US destinations. Check the southwest.com site directly; you can book many types of discount fares.
Canadian families who live near the border should always check for flights to Orlando from the nearest US city. Seattle-Orlando, for instance, costs far less than a flight to Orlando from Vancouver BC.
Last-minute bargains: check sites such as lastminute.com (formerly Site59.com), which has flights and hotels for departures in a 10-day time-span.
Red-eye flights: if you're flying long distance, sometimes overnight (red-eye) flights to Orlando can work out best in terms of timing and/or price. Be careful, though, to allow time for kids (and grown-ups!) to rest up the next day. Some kids -- especially teens-- are able to boogie right through, but it's best not to count on this.
Allow enough time for connecting flights.
Not every city has a direct flight to Orlando, and with online booking, travelers find themselves selecting flight itineraries, including connecting flights, without any advice from a travel agent. Do you really want to schedule a connecting flight with a 45-minute connection time? What if the airport is a huge one, with different terminals? What is your arriving flight is 15 minutes late?
If your initial flight departs late in the day, try to allow more than an hour to make a connecting flight. Why? When a flight departs in early morning, the plane has usually overnighted at the airport, and is likely to be punctual. But every time that plane arrives somewhere and departs throughout the day, the chances increase that it may be delayed. A late afternoon flight had more chance of leaving late -- perhaps too late to get you to a connecting flight. Add in the weather factor: in summer, many areas are prone to afternoon thunderstorms which cause delays.
Family Vacation Spots - Thursday, July 9, 2009
Dewi Gangga be depicted as a beautiful woman who pour water in the jar. Hindu people believe that if the bath in the river at this time will gain the forgiveness of sin and enables someone to get a safety.
The length of the river is 2510 km, flows through Northern India to Bangladesh. If you pay a visit to India, do not forget to visit the river that sustain the life of this Indian community.