SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Taj Mahal

What is Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned it as a mausoleum for his avorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Construction began in 1632 and was completed in approximately 1648. Some dispute surrounds the question of who designed the Taj Mahal; it is clear a team of designers and craftsmen were responsible for the design, with stad Ahmad Lahauri considered the most likely candidate as the principal designer. The Taj Mahal (sometimes called "the Taj") is generally considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that ombines elements of Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. While the white domed marble mausoleum is he most familiar part of the monument, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. In 1983 the Taj became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired asterpieces of the world's heritage." Origin and inspiration In 1631 Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal's period of greatest prosperity, was griefstricken when his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their daughter Gauhara Begum, their fourteenth child[3]. Contemporary court chronicles concerning Shah Jahan's grief form the basis of the love story traditionally held as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. Construction of the Taj Mahal was begun soon after Mumtaz's death. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648, and the urrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. Influences The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on many design traditions, particularly Persian and earlier Mughal architecture. pecific inspiration came from a number of successful Timurid and Mughal buildings. These include the Gur-e Amir (the tomb of Timur, progenitor of the Mughal dynasty, in Samarkand), Humayun's Tomb, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb (sometimes called the Baby aj), and Shah Jahan's own Jama Masjid in Delhi. Under his patronage, Mughal building reached new levels of refinement. While revious Mughal building had primarily been constructed of red sandstone, Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid ith semi-precious stones. The garden The complex is set in and around a large charbagh (a formal Mughal garden divided into four parts). Measuring 300 meters × 300 meters, the garden uses raised pathways which divide each quarter of the garden into 16 sunken parterres or flowerbeds. A raised marble water tank at the center of the garden, halfway between the tomb and the gateway, and a linear reflecting pool on the North-South axis reflect the Taj Mahal. Elsewhere the garden is laid out with avenues of trees and fountains.  The charbagh garden is meant to symbolize the four flowing Rivers of Paradise. The raised marble water tank is called al Hawd al-Kawthar, literally meaning and named after the "Tank of Abundance" promised to Muhammad. The charbagh garden was introduced to India by the first Mughal emperor Babur, a design inspired by Persian gardens. The charbagh is meant to reflect the gardens of Paradise (from the Persian paridaeza — a walled garden). In mystic Islamic texts of the Mughal period, paradise is described as an ideal garden, filled with abundance. Water plays a key role in these descriptions: In Paradise, these text say, four rivers source at a central spring or mountain, and separate the garden into north, west, south and east. Most Mughal charbaghs are rectangular in form, with a tomb or pavilion in the center of the garden. The Taj Mahal garden is unusual in that the main element, the tomb, is located at the end rather than at the center of the garden. But the existence of the newly discovered Mahtab Bagh or "Moonlight Garden" on the other side of the Yamuna provides a different interpretation — that the Yamuna itself was incorporated into the garden's design, and was meant to be seen as one of the rivers of Paradise. The layout of the garden, and its architectural features such as its fountains, brick and marble walkways, and geometric brick-lined flowerbeds are similar to Shalimar's, and suggest that the garden may have been designed by the same engineer, Ali Mardan. Early accounts of the garden describe its profusion of vegetation, including roses, daffodils, and fruit trees in abundance. As the Mughal Empire declined, the tending of the garden declined as well. When the British took over management of the Taj Mahal, they changed the landscaping to resemble the formal lawns of London. Outlying buildings The Taj Mahal complex is bounded by a crenellated red sandstone wall on three sides. The river-facing side is unwalled. Outside the wall are several additional mausoleums, including those of many of Shah Jahan's other wives, and a larger tomb for Mumtaz's favorite servant. These structures, composed primarily of red sandstone, are typical of smaller Mughal tombs of the era. On the inner (garden) side, the wall is fronted by columned arcades, a feature typical of Hindu temples later incorporated into Mughal mosques. The wall is interspersed with domed kiosks (chattris), and small buildings which may have been viewing areas or watch towers, such as the so-called Music House, now used as a museum. The main gateway (darwaza) is a monumental structure built primarily of marble. The style is reminiscent of that of Mughal architecture of earlier emperors. Its archways mirror the shape of the tomb's archways, and its pishtaq arches incorporate the calligraphy that decorates the tomb. It utilises bas-relief and pietra dura (inlaid) decorations with floral motifs. The vaulted ceilings and walls have elaborate geometric designs, like those found in the other sandstone buildings of the complex. At the far end of the complex, two grand red sandstone buildings open to the sides of the tomb. Their backs parallel the western and eastern walls. The two buildings are precise mirror images of each other. The western building is a mosque; its opposite is the jawab (answer) whose primary purpose was architectural balance (and which may have been used as a guesthouse during Mughal times). The distinctions are that the jawab lacks a mihrab, a niche in a mosque's wall facing Mecca, and the floors of the jawab have a geometric design, while the mosque floor was laid out with the outlines of 569 prayer rugs in black marble. The mosque's basic design is similar to others built by Shah Jahan, particularly to his Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, or Jama Masjid of Delhi — a long hall surmounted by three domes. Mughal mosques of this period divide the sanctuary hall into three areas: a main sanctuary with slightly smaller sanctuaries to either side. At the Taj Mahal, each sanctuary opens onto an enormous vaulting dome. The outlying buildings were completed in 1643. (Photo Gallary will be comming soon. More Info will be comming soon.)SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Comments are closed.