Puzzle: Sri Mariamman Temple

Sri Mariamman Temple, med
: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 48.1 cm x 67.95 cm
: Mega Puzzles, Structures series, 2013, No. 50941AAN, A 27053 PP

Puzzle: Another puzzle from the Structures series (see Astronomical Clock, Prague, Czech Republic, Galleries Lafayette, Paris, and Church of the Savior, St. Petersburg for more). A delight for the eyes, this puzzle is complex due to many similarly-coloured small regions and a large number of small detail. It requires some time and attention, but is definitely a pleasure to do. Any small uniformly-coloured areas are good places to start: be that the red dress of a figure in the bottom right corner, the blue steps at bottom right, the blue figure in the middle, and so on. Other good regions to do is the borders between areas – such as the vertical dividers on the left side and the balcony ledges. The various geometrical patters decorating the building can also be assembled. Putting all these pieces together requires focus and reveals many small details not easily noticed from just looking at the picture on the box.

Notes: The Sri Mariamman Temple is Singapore’s oldest Hindu temple. It is an agamic temple, built in the Dravidian style. The Sri Mariamman Temple was founded in 1827 by Naraina Pillai, eight years after the East India Company established a trading settlement in Singapore.

Built in the South Indian Dravidian style, this temple features a gopuram that rises above the main entrance along South Bridge Road. It is richly embellished with six tiers of sculptures of Hindu deities, other figures and ornamental decorations. The tower tapers up towards to a moulded ornamental ridge. The scale of each tier and its sculptures is slightly smaller than that of the tier immediately below it. This helps to create the illusion of height and adds to the symbolic importance of the building. Flanking the gopuram are a sculpture of Murugan on the right and Krishna on the left (as one enters). The sculptures are all of plaster, which allows for fine detailing. They are painted in a variety of bright colours, which adds to the visually spectacular quality of the gopuram. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Flower market at Jaipur

Flower market at Jaipur, med

: 304 pieces
Dimensions: 45.72 cm x 35.56 cm
Schmid Reinhard
: Whitman, Guild, A4425, Series 169,

Puzzle: Simple puzzle which I liked for its subject matter – small number of pieces and enough distinct colour regions to make it easy. Flower bunches and people can make a good start, and the background of the wall can come afterwards.

“Subjects in series 169:

  • Flower still life
  • Portrait of grandfather
  • Old town
  • Canister and crates
  • Pennsylvanian winter
  • Autumn village
  • California Carson mansion
  • Martha’s vineyard
  • Flowered fence
  • Arizona landscape
  • Bamberg, Germany
  • Flower market at Jaipur”[Puzzle box]

Puzzle: Taj Mahal in 3D

Taj Mahal, complete side, med

Size:  87 pieces
Dimensions: 28.4 cm x 28.4 cm x 18 cm
Producer: CubicFun, 3D Puzzle series MC, #MC081h, complexity 4/5
Original packaging: http://www.cubicfun.com/index.php?m=Products&a=show&id=49&bid=1

Puzzle: Following the St. Basil’s Cathedral puzzle, I have gone on a search for other higher-complexity puzzles made by CubicFun, and found a couple in a nearby toy store (Mrs. Tiggy Winkles). The only two they had were the Taj Mahal and the Eiffel Tower. As I’m not a big fan of modern architecture, I got the Taj Mahal one and have opened it the same night. Less complex than St. Basil’s Cathedral, it was still a lot of fun to put together.

Here is the box, the booklet (see below for the historical information contained therein) and sheets with puzzle pieces.

Taj Mahal, sheets, med

I have done this in three stages:

1. Separating all the pieces from the sheets in which they were embedded.

Taj Mahal, sorted, med

2. Punching out the holes in the pieces (I used a tip of a mechanical pencil).

Taj Mahal, punched, med

3. And putting together the puzzle itself. Below are the progress photos (this time I had enough willpower to stop briefly to snap a few photos):

Taj Mahal, base, med

Taj Mahal, walls, med

Taj Mahal, roof, med

Taj Mahal, four towers, med

Taj Mahal, complete, med

Taj Mahal, complete front, med


Overall a pleasant puzzle to do. I have aired the sheets overnight and did not have a reaction to the material this time, as I did with the St. Basil’s cathedral. Once the pieces were separated and the holes punched through, the assembly took less than 1.5 hours. I will definitely be looking for more puzzles made by this company.

Notes from the puzzle booklet:

“The world’s famous architecture we build it. India’s Taj Mahal.

The Taj Mahal, it is well-known, was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his Empress Mumtaz Mahal. As symbols of undying love go, it is one of the most deservedly famous and best examples of unparalleled excellence in Indo-Persian architecture.

Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj is the msot beautiful monument build by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India.

The Taj Mahal (also “the Taj”) is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.

While the white domed marble and tile mausoleum is most familiar, Taj Mahal is an integrated symmetric complex of structures that was completed around 1648. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer of the Taj Mahal.

In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughl empire’s period of greatest prosperity, was griefstricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their fourteenth child, Gauhara Begum. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan’s grief illustrates the love story traditionally held as an inspiration of Taj Mahal. The construction of Taj Mahal begun soon after Mumtaz’s death with the principal mausoleum completed in 1648. The surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later.

After his wife’s death, Shah Jahan gave up most of the pleasures and comforts that his royal position brought him. He had always had an avid interest in architecture, and now thought of erecting a commemorative monument in his queen’s memory. A one of a kind monument of such remarkable beauty that it would last over the centuries and awe all lokers.

Shah Jahan has planned to build a tomb for himself that would be a twin to the Taj Mahal, only in black marble, on the exact opposite side of the Yamuna and connected to the Taj with a marble bridge. But before his project was launched, he was over-thrown from power by his son Aurangzeb and imprisoned. He spent his last years in confinement in the Red Fort from where he could gaze at the Taj Mahal.

Four minarets, one at each corner of the plinth, facing the chamfered corners, frame the tomb.

The focus of the Taj Mahal is the white marble tomb, which stands on a square plinth consisting of a symmetrical building with an iwan, an arch-shaped doorway, topped by a large dome.

Archaeological Survey of India interprets that the Yamuna itself was incorporated into the garden’s design and was meants to be seen as one of the rivers of Paradise.

The Taj Mahal complex is bounded by crenellated red sandstone walls on three sides with river-facing side open.

There are two grand red sandstone buildings. The western building is a mosque and its opposite is the jawab.

The dome is made of white marble, but the tomb is set against an awesome backdrop of the river and it is this background that works its magic of colors, and through the reflection of these colors transforms the view of the Taj. The colors change at different hours of the day and during different seasons. Like a jewel, the Taj sparkles in moonlight when the semi-precious stones inlaid into the white marble on the main mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes, they say, depict the different moods of a woman.

To people the world over, the Taj Mahal, mausoleum of Mughal Emperor shah Jana’s chief wife, Mumtaz Mahal, is synonymous with India. Its curving, gently swelling dome and the square base upon which it rests so lightly is a familiar image from hundreds of brochures and travel books. The Taj is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular buildings of the world. Renowned for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty, it counts among man’s proudest creations and is invariably included in the list of the world’s foremost wonders. As a tomb, it has no match upon earth, for mortal remains have never been housed in greater grandeur.

It has been said of the Mughals that they designed like giants and finished like jewelers, a fact amply brought out in the Taj Mahal. The wife of a British officer, Colonel Slleman, while writing home, described it thus: “I cannot tell what I think. I do not know how to criticize such a building but I can tell what I fee. I would die tomorrow to have such another over me.”

The poet Rabindranath Tagore has perhaps said it best of all: “You know Shah Jahan, life and youth, wealth and glory, they all drift away in the current of time. You strove therefore, to perpetuate only the sorrow of your heart. Let the splendor of diamond, pearl and ruby vanish. Only let this one teardrop, this Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and ever.””
[Puzzle booklet]

Puzzle: Taj Mahal, India

: 750 pieces
Dimensions: 59.69cm x 39.37cm
Producer: Sure-Lox, The Canadian Group, images series, #43570-13
The Taj Mahal was constructed using materials from all over India and Asia and over 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials. The translucent white marble was brought from Makrana, Rajasthan, the jasper from Punjab, jade and crystal from China. The turquoise was from Tibet and the Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, while the sapphire came from Sri Lanka and the carnelian from Arabia. In all, twenty eight types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble.

A labour force of twenty thousand workers was recruited across northern India. Sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlayers from southern India, stonecutters from Baluchistan, a specialist in building turrets, another who carved only marble flowers were part of the thirty-seven men who formed the creative unit. [Wiki]

Puzzle: Taj Mahal Dreams by Walter Pepperle

: 1000 pieces, triptychon
Dimensions: 98cm x 37.5cm
Producer:  Ravensburger, no. 19 990 7
Walter Pepperle
Box: Puzzles and Beyond
Notes: The Taj Mahal (from Persian/Urdu: “crown of buildings”) is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is widely considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and stands as a symbol of eternal love.

Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles.

Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory.

[Shah Jahan]


Puzzle: Architecture, Puri, India by Jim Zuckerman

: 1000 pieces
Dimensions: 73cm x 48.5cm
: Sure-Lox
Painting: photo
Artist: Jim Zuckerman left his medical studies in 1970 to pursue his love of photography and turn it into a career. He has taught creative photography at many universities and private schools… The work of Jim Zuckerman has been used for packaging, advertising and editorial layouts in more than forty countries. He has been published in calendars, posters, greeting cards and corporate brochures and annual reports, and his work is also sold as fine art prints in scores of furniture store outlets across the United States. [Jim Zuckerman site]

Notes: Puri is a city situated about 60 kilometres south of state capital Bhubaneswar, on the eastern coast of the Bay of Bengal in the Indian state of Odisha. It is also known as Jagannath Puri after the Jagannath Temple (built in the late eleventh century). It is a holy city of the Hindus as a part of the Char Dham pilgrimages. It is considered that a pilgrimage of the temples of India is not complete without making the journey to Puri. [Wiki]