Friday, June 16, 2006

Taj Mahal

Here is another cover I received through the CCCC (Cover Collectors Circuit Club) that I mentioned few days ago. I find it quite nice and I thought it could be interesting to show it on my blog. I was very happy when I found it in my mail box after a hard day of work !
It comes from India, and again, this is a First Day Cover that has traveled through the postal service. Its condition is very good as you can see on the scan. I like the stamp of this cover, big and nice, and the postmark is also very nice, repeating the subject of the stamp. As you see, the stamp pictures the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is located in Âgrâ, in the north of India. The construction of this beautiful monument has been commissioned by the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shâh Jahân to pay tribute to his wife Ajumand Bano Begum (known also as Mumtaz Mahal) who died the 17th of June 1631 when giving birth to their 14th child. The construction has started in 1632 and there is a big debate about the exact date of the end : 1643/1644 for some, 1648 for some others… According to this cover the end date is officially assumed to be 1654 since the stamp commemorates the 350th anniversary of the end of the construction and was issued in 2004.
A lot of legends are told around the Taj Mahal and its construction. One of the famous one is that a replica in black marble was supposed to be built on the other side of the river. The most recent findings show that this is really a legend…
I put here a close up of the stamp and postmark so that you can see it better. Nice, isn’t it ?

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