Printre cele 7 noi minuni ale lumii se afla Taj Mahal, o moschee-mausoleum aflata in orasul indian Agra, ce ocupa un loc important.
In ciuda originilor musulmane, aceasta necropola de marmura a devenit un simbol al Indiei. Este protejata foarte bine. In jurul complexului este stabilita o zona de siguranta de 500 de metrii. Masinile se parcheaza la o distanta de 2 kilometrii, in rest, turistii trebuind sa foloseasca trasuri sau electromobile deoarece se crede ca fumul de esapament cauzeaza ingalbenirea marmurei. In spatele Taj Mahal-ului, pe malul opus al raului Jamuna, se afla un gard de sarma ghimpata. Personalul de securitate este format din sute de oameni.
In ianuarie 2012, fotograful Dima Moiseenko s-a dus in Agra pentru a il intalni pe arheologul raspunzator pentru Taj Mahal pentru a obtine permisiunea de a fotografia Taj Mahal-ul din aer. In incinta moscheei nu se poate intra nici macar cu un tripod, bricheta sau tigari.
Arheologul a ascultat rugamintea invitatului din Rusia si i-a raspuns ca ii permite folosirea unui tripod, dar fotografierea din aer a Taj Mahal-ului este interzisa. Ultima data cand acest lucru a fost facut a fost in urma cu 10-15 ani inainte. Cu cativa ani inainte, niste straini au incercat sa inalte un elicopter controlat prin telecomanda, politia arestandu-i imediat.
Cel care, in 1997, a fotografiat din aer Taj Mahal-ul a fost francezul Yan Artus Bertran, poza fiind facuta dintr-un elicopter.
15 ani au trecut si nimeni nu a mai reusit sa obtina aprobarea de a fotografia din aer. Francezul Bertran se bucura de sprijinul UNESCO si al Guvernului Francez. AirPano se bucura de sprijinul unui grup de fotografi entuziasti din Moscova.
AirPano au decis sa viziteze ambasada Indiei in Moscova. Dima a facut o prezentare despre proiect si despre activitatea non-profit bazata pe impartasirea cu toti oamenii a celor mai interesante locuri de pe planeta din punctul de vedere al unei pasari..
Si-au exprimat interesul in legatura cu AirPano si au spus sa pregateasca documentele necesare pentru aceasta fotografie. 2 luni au fost pierdute cu actele si autorizatiile necesare. In martie avand posibilitatea sa fotografieze monumentul.
Although we had a trip to Jordan planed in March, we canceled it and went to India. Dima Moiseyenko and I arrived to Agra, India, the home of Taj Mahal, in March 2012.
First of all we went to visit the Superintendant Archaeologist, with whom Dima met in January. Only this time we had the papers. At first, very unwillingly, the Superintendant Archaeologist allowed us to fly over Agra, except for Taj Mahal. But then, referring to a phone call from Dehli, he denied us entirely. He said that we had to go to the capital and gain a permit from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (yes, for a 100-meter height launch of a small manually controlled helicopter). As if to make us feel better, he allowed us to shoot inside Taj Mahal with a tripod.
To say that we were frustrated after that conversation is to say nothing. Our entire trip was falling apart right in front of our eyes, because Taj Mahal was our main goal.
We spent the following day knocking on every door we knew, from police to other local authorities, trying to get the permit. But all our efforts were in vain. After listening to our story, every single bureaucrat sent us back to the Superintendant Archaeologist.
As a last resort, Dima called the Embassy of India in Moscow and told them that despite of all the papers from Delhi, we were being denied to photograph Taj Mahal. They said they would look into it, but it could take a lot of time. And we had only 3 days left.
The same night we held „a council of war” in our hotel room. We declared that, using the papers from the Embassy as a backup, we would launch the helicopter from under the wall by the riverside.
The take-off should be done in the open, in the sight of the security guards, so that we wouldn’t be shot as terrorists. It was clear that we had only one chance to shoot, and that they wouldn’t allow us to do it again.
In the morning we packed our equipment and went to our photo shoot, preparing ourselves to spend some time in a local jail. However, we received a phone call on our way to Taj Mahal. It was an employee of the Embassy in Moscow. He said that we had to go to the Superintendant Archaeologist’s office and get our photo permit. He managed to resolve all the issues for us. Still in doubt, we entered the office. The Superintendant Archaeologist didn’t grace us with his presence; a small clerk handed us the paper.
And that was it! The permit to fly over Agra Fatehpur Sikri Fort and, more importantly, a permission to photograph Taj Mahal from air for 2 days straight!
To be honest, I didn’t believe my own eyes at first, but the sight of Dima dancing in the street dust finally convinced me.
We photographed Taj Mahal twice in the morning and one time in the evening. That was one of the most challenging and thorough work we’d done so far. We had to carry our helicopter on the premises 3 times. And each time it was a nightmare. Every local security guard had to stop us and ask – with huge surprise in his eyes – how exactly did we manage to sneak in our gear. Routinely we would show him our papers, which he would study for 10 or 15 minutes, only to say that we couldn’t shoot here.
But yes, we did it! We were the first ones in 15 years to fly over Taj Mahal and photograph it. We were the first to make a virtual aerial tour around Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. And now you can admire the beauty of the symbol of India in a way only birds could do before.
After this we shot in many other places in India, such as Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Varanasi, Jaipur, and Delhi. Fortunately, we didn’t have any difficulties there. On our last day in India we also received a permission to photograph at the territory of unique Akshardhama (New Delhi).We will publish these materials on AirPano.com as they go through post processing.
AirPano au fost primii care dupa 15 ani au reusit sa zboare deasupra Taj Mahal-ului si sa-l fotografieze, primii care au facut un tur virtual aerian in jurul acestuia, una dintre cele 7 minuni ale lumii moderne. Si asa, putem admira frumusetea acestui simbol al Indiei cum numai pasarile puteau pana acum.
Taj Mahal was built by order of Shah Jahan, a Great Mughal emperor and the descendant of Tamerlan, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. In our cynical times it’s hard to believe in feelings strong enough to withstand 17 years of marriage and 13 children. But it’s a fact – all legends and stories of that time tell us one thing: when they first met, Shah Jahan was enchanted by his chosen one, so from that moment on he didn’t pay attention to his other wives. When Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth of their fourteenth baby in 1631, Shah aborted his war campaign, returned home and dedicated the rest of his life to building the mausoleum.
Twenty thousand workers had been building the monument for more than twenty years. Beside local experts, foreign architects – Venetian and Frenchman – were invited to participate in the development. Combined efforts gave birth to five-dome building, which was 74 meters high on the platform with 4 minarets in the corners. The walls are faced with polished semitransparent marble, brought to the site from a 300 kilometers distance. It looks white in the bright daylight, pink during sunset, and silver in the moonlight. Furthermore, walls are decorated with turquoise, agate, malachite, carnelian and other gemstones delivered from many countries including Russia.
The grand building of Taj Mahal is surrounded by park. Water canals divide the park into square sections. The wide canal with fountains runs from the main gate. When the fountains are silent one can see a magic reflection of Taj Mahal in the water…
While the construction was in progress, Shah Jahan had an idea to create the same monument for himself on the opposite shore of Jamuna River that runs right behind the mausoleum. It would be made of black marble and connected with his wife’s mausoleum by an openwork bridge. Unfortunately, this beautiful dream did not come true. In order to maintain a clear view of the most spectacular mausoleum in the world, it was prohibited to erect more than 4-storey buildings in 3 kilometers radius.
However, many years of grief and obsession with building the mausoleum prevented Shah Jahan from attending to his country’s needs. As a result, he was overthrown by his own son (son of the woman to whom he dedicated the mausoleum) and spent the rest of his days in jail. The legend says that, as some cruel joke, his jail windows were facing Taj Mahal, the monument to his loved one whose untimely death led to his demise.
Taj Mahal is not just one of the most famous India landmarks. It is a rare monument, which needs to be seen and also to be felt. This is a story of love artistically preserved in stone, and it affects everyone who sees it.
You can also watch the short video from the above of Taj Mahal.