Mughals have Switched to a Romantic Mode and till today, Proposals are never turned down, in front of Taj Mahal 🙂
The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Uttar Pradesh, India.
Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.
Built between 1631 and 1648 on the banks of River Yamuna
Taj Mahal consumed the investment of 32crore rupees.
Became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
One of the 7 wonders of the World 2014.
Taj Mahal means Crown Palace (Taj means Crown and Mahal means Palace)
Ustad Ahmad Lahauri
Mughal art, combining elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottomon Turkish and Indian architectural styles.
In 1631, Shah Jahan’s 3rd and favorite wife, Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal), a Persian princess, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum and in her memory, the Emperor laid the foundation of Taj Mahal.
The marble dome has a height of around 35m and cylindrical “drum”, it sits on is around 7m and because of its shape, the dome is often called an Onion Dome or Amrud (Guava Dome).
The four detached minarets measure 138ft high and has an 8 sided open pavilion.
The main finial was originally made of gold but was replaced by a copy made of gilded Bronze in the early 19th century. The finial is topped by a Moon, a typical Islamic motif whose horns point Heavenward.
Minarets were designed as working minarets—a traditional element of mosques, used by the Muezzin to call the Islamic faithful to prayer.
The minarets were constructed slightly outside of the plinth so that, in the event of collapse, (a typical occurrence with many tall constructions of the period) the material from the towers would tend to fall away from the tomb.
The decorative elements were created by applying paint, stucco, stone inlays, or carvings along with calligraphy instead of anthropomorphic forms and the Quranic verses are inscribed throughout the complex and passage which the recent study suggests to be selected by Amanat Khan.
The Great Gate
The Great gate (Darwaza-i rauza), gateway to the Taj Mahal, has a calligraphy which reads “O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you”.
The calligraphy was created by a calligrapher named Abd-ul-Haq, in 1609 and in return, Shah Jahan conferred the title of “Amanat Khan” upon him.
Taj Mahal is further enhanced by a total of 24 fountains on all four sides of this lotus pond.
The interior walls are about 25m (82 ft) high and are topped by a “false” interior dome decorated with a sun motif and marble screen (Jali) borders Cenotaphs and the interior chamber has Lapidary of precious and valuable Gemstones instead of Pietra Dura.
Tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal are inside Taj Mahal at underground level and as the Muslim tradition forbids elaborate decoration of graves therefore the bodies of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan were put in a relatively plain crypt beneath the inner chamber.
The 99 Names Of Allah are found as calligraphic inscriptions on the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal while
Shah Jahan’s grave has got inscription “He travelled from this world to the banquet-hall of Eternity on the night of the 26 of the month of Rajab, in the year 1076 AH”
The complex is set around a large 300m (980 ft) square Charbagh or Mughal Garden with a raised water tank that is know as “al Hawd al-Kawthar”. The design was inspired by Persian gardens.
Also known as Moon Gareden, situated on north of the Taj Mahal on the opposite side of the Yamuna River square in shape, measures about 300 by 300m
The red sandstone building that faces the sides of tomb on the western side is Mosque. The mosque’s basic design of a long hall surmounted by 3 domes is similar to others built by Shah Jahan.
Directly across from the Mosque, the area is known as Jawab which may have been used as a guesthouse and the only thing making difference between Jawab and the Mosques is Mihrab (a niche in a mosque’s wall facing Mecca).
An event takes place in February, every year since 1992 at Shilpgram, Near Taj Mahal, lasting for 10 days (18th to 27th February), by the Department of Tourism, Government of India and dedicated to the promotion of country’s rich art and craft, culture, cuisine, dance and music. One of the major attractions of the Taj Mahal Mahotsav of Agra is the Food Festival
Did you Know???
Shah Jahan presented Maharajah Jai Singh with a large palace in the center of Agra in exchange for the land.
28 types of stones were used into the white marble and they were brought from around the globe like: –
Translucent white marble from Makrana, Rajasthan
Jasper from Punjab
Jade and Crystal from China
Turquoise from Tibet
Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan
Sapphire from Sri Lanka
Carnelian from Arabia.
A labour force of 20,000 workers was recruited across northern India
From Syria and Persia
Ismail Afandi was designer of the main dome
Ustad Isa is credited with a key role in the architectural design and main dome.
Puru was a supervising architect.
Qazim Khan casted the solid gold finial.
Chiranjilal was the chief sculptor and mosaicist.
Amanat Khan was the chief calligrapher
Muhammad Hanif was a supervisor of masons.
Mir Abdul Karim and Mukkarimat Khan handled finances and management of daily production.
The acid rain and environmental pollution on the banks of River Yamuna due to the Mathura Oil Refinery, which was opposed by The Supreme Court Of India and to help control the pollution, the Indian government has set up the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), a 10,400sq km area around the monument where strict emissions standards are in place.
In 2011 it was reported that some predictions indicated that the tomb could collapse within 5 years.
Taj Mahal recieves more than 2 million visitors every year
Smileys, Myths and Facts
The Taj Mahal was constructed using materials from all over India and Asia and over 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials.
Abdul Hamid Lahauri, the author of the Badshahnama, the official history of Shah Jahan’s reign, calls Taj Mahal, “Rauza–I-Munawwara, which means the illumined or illustrious tomb.
Shah Jahan got the hands of Architects and Workers, cut off after Taj Mahal so they’ll never build any other of its kind.
Soon after the Taj Mahal’s completion, Shah Jahan was deposed by his son Aurangzeb and put under house arrest at nearby Agra Fort.
Upon Shah Jahan’s death, Aurangzeb buried him in the mausoleum next to his Wife.
Taj Mahal was to be built out of Black Marble.
Another myth suggests that beating the silhouette of the finial will cause water to come forth.
In 2000 and 2005, India’s Supreme Court dismissed petitions to declare that a Hindu king built the Taj Mahal.
Certain myths also revolved that a special stone (Paaras) is placed somewhere in Taj Mahal which turns metals into gold if rubbed against it.
According to another myth a number of items such as diamonds, a gold leaf which covered the part of the dome, a pearl blanket etc that were originally a part of the Taj Mahal were stolen.
Taj Mahal seems to be different in color at night from that it looks during daytime.
Some even believe that this changing pattern of colors depict different moods of a woman.
At the age of 14 Shah Jahan met Mumtaz and fell in love with her & 5 years later, they got married.
Say thanks to Lord that you are alive to see this site and Listen to the words of British officer, Colonel Sleeman’s wife: –
“I cannot tell what I think. I do not know how to criticize such a building but I can tell what I feel. I would die tomorrow to have such another over me.”