Moody Black and White Images Highlight the Timeless Elegance of the Taj Mahal

taj mahal

Photographer Josef Hoflehner journeys to the many corners of the globe to shoot some of the most spectacular locations. Recently, he went to India and produced some rather breathtaking images of the legendary Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is renowned as one of the most stunningly elegant and tranquil places ever built by man.

taj mahal black and white

The one-of-a-kind structure has been attracting people for decades to gaze at its singular beauty and elegance. Hoflehner was able to capture some of that magic in his photos of the mythical building, using dramatic black and white images to underscore the timelessness and grandeur of the edifice.

black and white taj mahal

The Taj Mahal is actually a white marble mausoleum found in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. As the story goes, it was constructed by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in loving remembrance of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is largely regarded as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”

taj mahal monochrome

It is also considered by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, which is a combination of style elements from Persian, Islamic, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983; a rather belated recognition after a couple of centuries of its spellbinding existence.

monochrome taj mahal

The Taj Mahal construction started in 1632 and was completed around 1653, involving thousands of master artisans and workers. It was left to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma’mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, the latter being regarded as the lead designer.

monochrome taj mahal photo

Shot in stark monochromatic, these series of photos take on a poignant, regal aura.  Photographed from various vantage points and against different backgrounds, Hoflehner is able to create a sense of travelling back in time to an era when this great edifice was erected. Almost all the images are devoid of human presence, adding enigma to the already haunting mausoleum.

See the Hoflehner’s ode to the magnificent Taj Mahal, in pictures here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.