Taj MahalTaj Mahal, the word itself spreads a feeling of royalty and the charm of the supreme foundation. The elegance of the Taj rolls down the River Yamuna, which undoubtedly stands as the sole witness of its history. The mesmerizing white beauty is a correct representation of love, purity and at the same time pain; pain of depart, pain of loss and pain of remorse. The imposing Taj Mahal unfolds the truth of life, love and emotion. The ‘seventh wonder of the world’ is indeed a wonder in itself to see how the tragedy of life transformed it to a spectacular meaning of dedication and eternity.
Brief History of Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is the pinnacle of Mughal art and architecture, built during the reign of Shah Jahan, on the loss of his soul mate Mumtaz. This mausoleum reflects the blend of Hindu-Muslim culture. Taj Mahal was not constructed in a day; it took 22 long years (from 1632 to 1653) to get it assembled with white marbles. The actual dome i.e the monument complex was completed in 1648, but the adjacent magnificence of the gardens and fountains took five more years. After the demise of Mumtaz Mahal in 1631, Shah Jahan started the edifice. Every corner of the Taj Mahal reflects the beauty of Mumtaz. The construction of this phenomenal exquisiteness was the only way for the king to convert the pain into a symbol of remembrance, intense love and hope. Click Here to Know More
About Shah Jahan
The fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan was the son of Jahangir and Taj Bibi Bilqis Makani. During his life span from 1592-1666, the Mughal Dynasty saw a huge expansion of its territory. Shah Jahan was borned with the quality of his grandfather, Akbar. He became the ruler after Jahangir’s death in 1927. Shah Jahan’s period is called as the Golden Period because of his deeds. He was firstly married to Kandahari Begum, followed by Akbarabadi Mahal and finally Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan on the tragic death of Mumtaz. Besides Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan’s period saw various architectural formations like Moti Masjid (Agra), Red Fort (Delhi), Jama Masjid (Delhi), Lahore Fort (Lahore) and many more. It is said that the ruler had a great appreciation for art and architecture. After the devastating death of his beloved wife Mumtaz, the emperor lived a shattered life. In 1658 he was confined by Auranagzeb at his death bed.
Architecture of Taj Mahal
“The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs and makes sun and moon shed tears from their eyes. In this world this edifice has been made to display, thereby, the Creator’s glory”- Shah Jahan himself made this quote (mentioned in Badshah Nama) while unveiling the beauty his wife’s tomb.
On a land of 42 acres, this epitome of love is raised. The land slowly dips towards the river Yamuna from south to north. The sepulcher, Taj Mahal is plotted into five major portions namely, Rauza or the main mausoleum, Darwaza or the Main Gate, Bagicha or the Gardens, Masjid or the Mosque and Naqqar Khana or the rest room. The blend of Islamic architecture along with Persian and central Asian propagate the beauty of Taj Mahal throughout the globe as a message of love. To maintain the symmetry, the mosque and the rest room are designed on both sides of Taj Mahal. Geometry and art co-exist as indispensible part of this creation. The four towering minarets, each 162.5 feet high, on the four geometric corners of the square platform are deliberately kept shorter than the main dome. The divisions are briefly explained below:
Taj Mahal The Mausoleum
The Main mausoleum or the Taj Mahal, which stands on a square platform, is 213 feet in height and 58 feet in diameter. White marble encrypted with intricate designs attract the attention of the viewers and mesmerize them. Similar to any other Persian creation, the entrance of the tomb is followed by an arch-shaped gateway. With a length of 180 feet on four sides, the base creates an unequal octagonal shape with gigantic vaulted archway on each side. Replica of graves of the duo is placed in the main house, however the actual grave of Shah Jahan and Mamtaz Mahal are at the basement. The interior of the tomb is ornamented with various classy stones and metals. The Rauza is at 900 feet from the Darwaza.
Taj Mahal Main Gate
The 93-feet-high Darwaza was constructed between the years 1632-1638. The arch-shaped vertically symmetrical gate is entangled with flowers, vines, leaves. The motif of red lotus and Arabic calligraphy from Quran on the Gate reflect the symbolization of Hindu-Muslim cultural unity.
Mosque in Taj Mahal
On the western side of the marvelous White Mahal, the mosque is located that faces the holy place of Islam, Mecca. The mosque is fabricated with red sandstones. The interior of the mosque is spacious and brilliantly designed with quotes from Quran.
Rest House of Taj Mahal
On the eastern plot of the Taj Mahal, lies the mirror image of the mosque. This mirror image, built of red sandstone, is known as Rest House or Naqqar Khana. This replica is constructed to retain the symmetry. As the purpose of foundation of rest house is still unknown, historians believe that this twin had been created to keep evenness and enhance the beauty.
Bagicha of Taj Mahal
The splendor of the Taj Mahal has been enhanced by the presence of a wonderful garden. The Persian style garden is divided into four parts. The pretty garden stretched from main Gate to the foot of the Taj Mahal is planned in such a manner that it retains the natural view. 16 flower beds along with trees spruce up the entire sight.
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Facts on Taj Mahal
This architectural masterpiece is considered as an iconic image of the country. Taj Mahal speaks the history by describing the purity of love. It also signifies the then Indo-Persian architectural contribution and also intensifies the religious and tourism importance.
- UNESCO, in 1983 announced the great Taj Mahal as a world heritage site. However, in 2007, it was awarded as the 7th wonder of the world.
- The costliest tomb ever in the history of mankind, in present valuation, Taj Mahal cost over 320 million Indian rupees.
- Shah Jahan constructed this epitome of love for her beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
- It took 22 long years by 22,000 workers and 1000 elephants to set up this picturesque memento for Shah Jahan’s third begum, Mumtaz.
- Devastating incident took place, when the emperor ordered to cut off the workers hand after the tomb was formed.
- The Mahal keeps on changing color with time, in the morning it appears pink where as the color changes to golden in the moon-light. Significant color transform takes place during dawn, day time and dusk.
- The minarets are slightly tilted outwards as to restrict significant damage during natural calamities like earthquake.
- 30 various types of opulent stones are used for decorating the marble inside. The intricate design of the Taj Mahal aptly reflects a blend of Indo-Persian as well as Asian architecture.
- 99 names of Allah have been encrypted on the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal.
- Shah Jahan wished to edifice a replica of Taj Mahal, but of black marble. However, the dream could not get a real touch. Half done base of the latter is still visible across the river.
- The unparallel gorgeousness of the Taj is bound to magnetize the viewers. In order to get a glimpse the beauty, 7-8 millions of people visit Taj Mahal every year.
Taj Mahal as the Seventh Wonder of the World
The Taj Mahal of Agra, India has its name enlisted among the seventh wonders of the world. According to the recent global voting in the year 2007, it was awarded as the 7th wonder of the world. This stunning historic foundation has its individual identity. This very monument was awarded with this prestigious notion “seventh wonder” through public voting across the globe.
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