Taj Mahal and other Indian monuments to get Google Street View treatment

8th Oct 2013

The Taj Mahal will soon be but a mouse click away.

This follows Google's announcement to add more than 100 Indian monuments and cultural sites to its Street View mapping service.

Of course, though, there's nothing like seeing the magnificent, vast white marble mausoleum "in the flesh".

No city breaks tour to Agra is complete without a trip to this Uttar Pradesh icon.

Here, between 1631 and 1648, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan ordered its painstaking construction in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

The Taj Mahal's pure white marble stunningly shimmers silver in the moonlight, glows softly pink at dawn, and at twilight mirrors the fiery tints of the setting sun.

This building's beauty and history won it a UNESCO World Heritage Site accolade in addition to being one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Google's initiative will see 360-degree images of India's most famous attractions created from footage captured by a backpack-mounted camera and posted online.

The service will also feature the Ajanta and Ellora caves, Humayun's Tomb, and Qutub Minar, an ancient Islamic monument.

The Indian Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) are undertaking the project.

The images will appear on Google Maps and the company's world wonders site.

Google's mapping team has become increasing daring in recent years.

Its Google Trekker, a backpack with a camera attached, has captured images of the Grand Canyon, Mount Fuji, the Ecuador-owned Galapagos Islands and the streets of Venice.

India's union culture minister Chandresh Kumari Katoch told The Hindu that the country has always embraced technology.

Katoch added: "The new panoramic imagery of monuments will allow the ASI to boldly take forward its mission of embracing partnerships for the future in order to preserve and propagate the rich heritage of India's past."

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