The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 3 The Gardens of the Taj Mahal

River Terrace at Taj Mahal

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Coming in under the deep shadow of the high river walls, their bold panels, filled with vases of flowers cut in the hard red sandstone, surprise one with ever fresh delight, so striking is the wonderful finish yet perfect subordination of all parts to the whole design,-even each battlement of the garden wall has its star of white marble inlay,-and walking back up the broad landing-ghat paved with brick-work in various patterns, one sees the Taj as no doubt Bernier and Taver-nier first saw it when they sailed down stream, leaving the Court of Aurungzeb in the fort to visit this famous tomb. As one stands on the river terrace at evening, Babar's disgust with the country round Agra hardly seems justified. But then what Babar looked for was a hillside spring around which he could construct a great terraced garden like those of Samarkand, and such as he built himself at Kabul; and, at first, in his search for a good site he evidently overlooked the advantages offered by the width and steep bank of the Jumna, a river so different from the rushing torrents of his own northern mountains.