J for Jawab

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The Taj Mahal, still one of the Seven Wonders of the World, attracts millions of visitors each year.  The traditional southern view of the white domed mausoleum doesn’t always demonstrate the sheer scale of the building, nor take into affect the remainder of the integrated structures on the complex and its harmonious proportions.

Jawab - facing west
Jawab – facing west

At the far end of the complex, there are two grand red sandstone buildings that are open to the sides of the tomb. These identical buildings flank the main tomb effectively and help to present the white marble monument in an aesthetic setting and form an integral part of the Taj design.

At the western side is the mosque (masjid) facing east, reported to have been built by Isa Muhammed 1631-1648. More about this when we reach M. On the eastern side is the Jawab (literally “answer”; a building mirroring the mosque) and providing aesthetic balance to the site. At the time of my visit the Jawab was covered in scaffolding, so I wasn’t able to go inside.


One of the most beautiful structural compositions in the world, the Taj Mahal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

9 thoughts on “J for Jawab”

    1. I preferred seeing it back in 1973 when the site was isolated from Agra and less busy. This visit was in 2008 and the town has sprawled so much that I wonder how much damage the pollution is doing to the site, and it was very crowded with mainly Indians (they get in at a much cheaper price). It is, as you say, a magnificent place.

    1. It’s quite a complex – you’ll see the actual mosque that this replicates in my M post – plus a bit more from the site. It is a fascinating story.

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