Architecture of Taj MahalTaj Mahal, a magnificent architectural work was contributed solely to Begum Mumtaz on her sudden and unfortunate demise. While delivering the 14th child, Mumtaz breathed her last. Shah Jahan, her beloved could not stand this unexpected shock. He decided to dedicate his true and pure love for her by building an incredible mausoleum entirely for her. So this is how a beautiful Taj Mahal came into reality, made of shining white marbles. Also known as Crown Palace, this White Mahal stands on the River Yamuna's banks. Taj Mahal has been one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the fact that contributes mostly to its glory is its perfectly brilliant architecture. The dome, the Mausoleum, The Garden, the Gateway, the Mosque, The Water works are perfectly synchronized with each other to offer an incredible heavenly look to this wonderful Taj Mahal.
This is one of the fine monuments built around the world so far. India received such an outstanding creation under the Mughal rule. Taj Mahal adheres to the Islamic style of architecture. It entirely is the result of the meticulous effort of 22,000 masons and the chief architect. The painstaking work done by the fine artists all over the world is indeed praiseworthy. The labourers, with their entire hard endeavour, had harmonised this grand tomb by brilliantly placing all the features, keeping the minute details in mind. Let’s have a look at the exterior and the interior architecture of this tomb, which are equally admirable.
Exterior Architecture of Taj MahalThe layout of this grand historical monument is built in the Islamic style, also known as the Indo-Islamic style. This White Paradise is built on a raised platform, which acquires an area of 93.9 square meters and is of height 6.6 square metres. The principal structure is about 62 metres high on either side, while the corner minarets are about 41.1 metres high. Made of numerous symmetrical gleaming white marbles, the Mausoleum will make you go head over heels. To offer a perfect contrast, the tomb is flanked by a pair of bright red sandstone buildings in its east and west. Each and every works of this tomb is so flawless! The building on the western side of the tomb is the mosque, while the other one is referred to as the museum or the guest house. The latter was constructed solely to bring about the much needed symmetry. The Gateway gives such a noble look to the Taj. The fountains and the water causeway artistically connect to the tomb and gateway in perfect evenness.
Layout of Taj Mahal
Indeed, the uniqueness of the design was not brought about with the drop of the hat. It so beautifully presents the evolution of the tomb in the Indian history. The colossal structure is located at a decent from the natural river to offer a romantic appearance. The location of the enormous structure is smartly chosen so that the imposing tower looks magnificent over its surroundings.
The Dome of Taj MahalA bulbous double dome is mounted attractively on the tomb. The white-coloured dome has lotus petals and stunning Kalasa-finial. With a complete height of 145’8”, the globular dome rests on a wonderful drum. The four angles of the dome are flanked by the Chhatris, which are seemingly attached to the dome. The impeccable architecture of the dome stands influential and unparallel till date.
Mausoleum and Minarets of Taj MahalLocated just in the middle of a rectangular sandstone platform, the classic mausoleum is the key attraction of Taj Mahal. The tomb stands on the platform; the latter also known as Chameli-farsh. The dimensions of the mausoleum is 364’10” (North-South), 970’7” (East-West) and is at 4’ height from the garden level. The tall circular minarets are 132’ in height, each of which is three-storeyed and separated from each other by a balcony. The latter, shored up on a series of brackets, reminds you of the arms of an adorable lady. The balcony on the brackets also provides a perfect completeness to the white and black minarets.
The cornered minarets on the podium of Taj reflect back to the Lodhi Tomb of Agra. This is an indispensable feature of the Mughal-styled architecture. It is such a pleasure to see four of them standing in harmony with the tomb. The full-fledged minarets rise elegantly high into the sky apparently carrying the entire gateway with them. Even though the chief white tomb is a perfect square of 187’ on either side, yet it reflects an octagonal shape owing to the chamber at each of the angles.
Gateway of Taj MahalThe majestic gateway befits a perfect entrance to the Taj. This red sandstone gateway cleverly hides the vision of Taj from a distance. You have to enter through the gateway to have a glimpse of the magnificent Taj. The grand gateway is topped by chhatris. It takes you to the courtyard. The gateway is so nicely ornamented with neat calligraphic works with verses from Quran.
Waterworks of Taj MahalIndeed, the waterworks shows a great foresight and intelligence. The main aim was to have uniform water pressure in all the fountains. A copper pot was placed under each fountain pipe; the latter was connected to the water supply. So water fills each of the pots first and then rises evenly in the fountains. This great invention is so exemplary. The water works add a blissful touch to the entire architecture of Taj Mahal. The fountains, till date, are being consistently controlled by the pressure in the pots, leading to an identical water supply in all the fountains.
The main water supply is received through the earthenware pipes. The irrigation work was so done to offer an undiminished water supply. Each of the works of this aesthetic monument is so detailed and perfect that you will hardly get to notice a similar type anywhere around the globe.
Mosque of Taj Mahal
The building to the west of the Taj Mahal is the mosque, carved out of sober red sandstones. This Mosque faces Mecca. The plinth in front of the Mosque is also made of red sandstone. A polished marble piece is so neatly fitted that it serves the purpose of a mirror to see the reflection of the mausoleum in it. Everywhere you look around; you will find intricate scriptures with the name of Allah along with exquisite calligraphy. The roof of the mosque supports 3 graceful domes and 4 octagonal towers.
Gardens of Taj Mahal
CharbaghThe lush green garden offers a foreground to the magnificent view of Taj Mahal. The smart planning of the garden utilizes raised pathways that separate each quarter of the garden into 16 flowerbeds. The garden also showcases a raised water tank made of marble exactly at the centre of the gateway and the tomb. The Charbagh garden in Taj Mahal elegantly presents the four Rivers of Paradise.
Mahtab BaghAlso known as the Moon light garden, Mahtab Bagh is located at the northern side of the Taj Mahal. This has four sandstone towers on its four sides.
Interiors of the Taj Mahal
The interior hall assumes a perfect octagonal shape, measuring 80’ in height and 58’ in diameter. On the four sides, it has an arrangement of four rectangular rooms. While, on the four corners, there are four octagonal rooms, all of which are connected through passages. The main halls connect with the corner rooms with the help of the corridors. All the sides, except the southern side, are equipped with glass-fitted screens. The skilful glass work reproduces a nice uniformity on tomb and the upper storey. They so amazingly offer a translucent feeling. The interior works are a perfect representation of the medieval art.
Must Read: History of Taj Mahal