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  2. 2. • The Taj Mahal represents the finest and most sophisticated example of Mughal architecture. The distraught Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the mausoleum upon the death of his favourite wife Mumtaz Begum. • Today it is one of the most famous and recognisable buildings in the world and the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar part of the monument. Taj Mahal is an extensive complex of buildings and gardens that extends over 22.44 hectares and includes subsidiary tombs, waterworks infrastructure, the small town of 'Taj Ganji' and a 'moonlight garden' to the north of the river. • • Construction began in 1632 AD, on the south bank of the River Yamuna in Agra, and was substantially complete by 1648 AD • The architects Ustad Ahmad Lahauri and Mir Abdul Karim. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  3. 3. Site plan The Taj Mahal complex can be conveniently divided into 5 sections: 1. The moonlight garden to the north of the river Yamuna. 2. The riverfront terrace, containing the Mausoleum, Mosque and Jawab. 3. The Charbagh garden containing pavilions. 4. The jilaukhana for the tomb attendants and two subsidiary tombs. 5. The Taj Ganj, originally a bazaar and caravanserai only traces of which are still preserved. The great gate lies between the jilaukhana and the garden. Levels gradually descend in steps from the Taj Ganji towards the river HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  4. 4. Plan of the complex Guest House Ornamental Pool Main Gateway Forecourt Tomb Taj Ganj Yamuna Mosque Char Bagh HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III Servant Quaters Royal Tombs TAJ MAHAL
  5. 5. Guest House Tomb Mosque Ornamental Pool Main Gateway Royal Tombs Char Bagh Servant Quaters HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III Forecourt TAJ MAHAL
  6. 6. Concepts, Symbolism and Interpretation • • • • • • This theme, common in most Mughal funerary architecture, permeates the entire complex and informs the detailed design of all the elements. A number of secondary principles also inform the design, of which hierarchy is the most dominant. A deliberate interplay is established between the building's elements, its surface decoration, materials, geometric planning and its acoustics. In Dimensional organisation- The Taj complex is ordered by grids Symmetry and geometric planning played an important role in ordering the complex. In the Taj Mahal, the hierarchical use of red sandstone and white marble contributes manifold symbolic significance Red sandstone also had significance in the Persian origins of the Mughal empire. In the Taj Mahal the relative importance of each building in the complex is denoted by the amount of white marble (or sometimes white polished plaster) that is used. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  7. 7. Taj Ganj • • HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III The area directly outside of the forecourt is known today as Taj Ganj. It was once a large teeming bazaar with stalls containing gems and other luxuries. TAJ MAHAL
  8. 8. Forecourt •The Taj Mahal is split into three sections and the forecourt is the second in importance. •The other two sections are; the main mausoleum area, and the Taj Ganj. •The imposing sandstone gateway is the main entrance to the mausoleum. •The Fore Court is enveloped by a red sandstone wall that consisted of 128 shops. Also called the Jilokhana or Chowk-iJilaukhana ForeCourt of the Taj Mahal that was lined by 128 shops in the past HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  9. 9. The Taj Gateway •Spread over a width of 150 feet and standing tall at 100 feet, the Taj gateway is entrance to a monument. • Made of red sandstone, this three storeyed building is topped by cupolas or chattris. Records state that this gateway was completed in 1648. •Decorated with the most sought after craft in the Mughal times, calligraphy was used to inscribe Holy Koranic verses on the walls of the Gateway. • Crowning the gateway are twenty two small ornamental chhatris , placed in two lines of eleven above the main portal. •As grand an entrance as this is, it was never used by Shah Jahan and the royal party, as they always arrived from the Agra Fort by boat. Inscriptions start at the bottom and but miraculously look the same size as your eyes travel up the arch HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  10. 10. • The Taj is hidden by a massive red sandstone gateway within this square before the main entrance Decorated in calligraphy with verses from holy Koran.  The original door of the gateway was made out of the solid silver • Calligrapher, Amanat Khan has used the tromp l'oeil effect. •Gradual enlarging of the letters and their spacing as they snake around the form of the arch. •The result is seemingly consistent dimensions as you read the holy lettering from the ground.
  11. 11. Taj Mahal Gardens •The gardens in the Mughal era were heavily influenced by the Persian style. •The Holy Qoran describes Paradise as a garden, so we see that most Mughal monuments mostly always accompany beautiful gardens, as a representation of heaven. •The Taj Mahal gardens are no exception and have been designed in the "Chahar Bagh" style, that is, divided into four parts, the number four being a sacred number in Islam. Water channels is provided by neat geometric paving. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  12. 12. • These main four parts are divided using water channels, each channel joining the centre. •At the centre, halfway between the tomb and the gateway, where the four water channels meet is a raised marble lotus-tank with a cusped border called the "Al-Kawthar" that signifies 'The celestial pool of abundance'. Central tank of the Taj Mahal representing the "celestial pool of abundance" • The tank was so positioned that one can perfectly see that Taj Mahal's reflection in its waters. •The four main garden beds are further divided by paved stone walkways into four beds each, making a total of 16 flower beds. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  13. 13. The al-Kawthar - The Celestial Pool of Abundance •The planner of the Taj preferred to add to the gorgeous view of the monument from the front by providing these delicate bud-shaped fountains in the centre. •This is the point where the two water channels intersect dividing the garden into four sections. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  15. 15. The dome •The most remarkable part of the Taj Mahal. •Enormous white onion shaped dome crowning the tomb. •Located at the exact centre of the structure, the main dome is flanked by four smaller ones on it four corners. •The onion shaped dome of the Taj Mahal sits on a massive drum that adds support to the circular top. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III 60 m •The drum is also intricately designed with superb inlay work. TAJ MAHAL
  16. 16. •The weight of the dome was distributed to the building on which it was rested and then on to the iwans and arches, from which it was transferred to the plinths and foundation. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  17. 17. •The dome is actually double shelled, and the interior false dome was made much smaller to be in proportion to the inner chamber. •This gave the building perfect visual balance; extraordinary from the outside and comfortable small from the inside. Similar technique is used at St Paul's Cathedral in London. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  18. 18. Finial of the Dome •The main finial was originally made of gold but was replaced by a copy made of gilded bronze in the early 19th century. •The summit of the gold gilded finial perched at almost 220 feet from the ground, gives a finishing look to the Taj Mahal. • The motif is a Hindu symbol with bent lotus leaves mounted on a "kalash" with a coconut on top. Decorating the summit of the dome is an open lotus, over which is a gilded finial. Taj Mahal - Islamic inscription on the gold gilded Finial HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  19. 19. Chattris •The most prominent are the main four chattris, which flank the four corners of the onion dome. •Having an octagonal base •with small arches on each of the eight sides •The top is nicely finished with an inverted lotus with a gold finial rising from its summit. •Chattris are also present at the tops of the four tall minarets. Open ornamenting chattris Taj Mahal "Chattris" flank the main dome from four sides lotus the Similar Chattris on the top of the minarets HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  20. 20. Minarets •The Taj Mahal's minarets detached from the main tomb •Standing tall at 138 feet were intelligently designed with a slant towards the outward side. •This was done so that in case of any minaret topples, it causes no damage to the central dome. •These four minarets rise from the plinth with an eight sided base and a circular pillar. •On the top of the pillar is an octagonal balcony. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  21. 21. •Decorated with delicate inlay work and beautiful carvings. •The balcony is encircled with geometric patterns and floral motifs. •It may have been built as a watch tower or a place from where the "muezzin" calls for prayers. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  22. 22. Iwans The tradition of having iwans in both residential and public buildings found their way into Mughal architecture. • By definition, iwans are vaulted spaces covered by three sides and open from one. •They normally have an ornate gateway that was called a "pishtaq". •The Taj Mahal's front facade is dominated with "iwans", the main one lying just below the onion shaped dome. •There are eight smaller ones on the front face equally intricately designed. •The monument has 28 iwans in all, with four main iwans on the four faces of the structure. •The other 24 iwans are identical in size with four on each face and two on the angled sides. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III The Taj Mahal Iwan with an ornate "Pishtaq" TAJ MAHAL
  23. 23. Guldastas •Even the smallest areas had design elements like the "guldastas" that flank the exterior of the Taj. • "Guldastas" is the Urdu terminology for the flower topped pinnacles that rise from the main sides of the structure. These "guldastas" are not originally Mughal, but were an integral part of the Sayed architecture They were added to the Taj Mahal purely for beauty and lends the building a sense of height. •Decorated with lotus petals, the guldastas are topped with gold finials. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  25. 25. •The tomb is the central focus •It stands on a square plinth •It consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan topped by a large dome and finial. • Its basic elements are Persian in origin •On each of these sides, a huge pishtaq, or vaulted archway, frames the iwan with two similarly shaped, arched balconies stacked on either side. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III • Multi-chambered cube •Chamfered corners forming an unequal octagon that is approximately 55 meters (180 ft) on each of the four long side. TAJ MAHAL
  26. 26. •The Taj Mahal is situated on a raised platform which is over 6 meters high. •The actual Tomb of Shah Jahan is in the basement below the platform. •Surmounted by a curving dome which is over 60m long on each side. •Height is over 60m at its pinnacle. •Platform covers 94 sq m area. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  27. 27. Entrance to the Mausoleum Way to Cenotaph HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III Rauza (tomb) in the mausoleum TAJ MAHAL
  28. 28. The Rauza(tomb) in the Mausoleum The main chamber houses the false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. The actual graves are at a lower level HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  29. 29. Hasht bihisht and the central chamber  The central chamber of the mausoleum is an octagonal room.  It is flanked on each wall by outer chambers that create a layout used frequently in Mughal architecture.  This layout, referred to as the 'hasht bihisht', a nine-fold plan, was derived from Persian architectural precedents. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  30. 30. Entrance to cenotaphs The cenotaphs HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  31. 31. • Surrounded by a marble screen, the cenotaphs of the Emperor and his wife lie in the centre of the room. • Mumtaz Mahal's body was buried in the Taj Mahal after her death in 1631; • Shah Jahan laid to rest at his wife's side in 1666 after death  Originally not planed for Shah Jahan’s cenotaph Which was added after his death HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  32. 32. Jali around the cenotaphs • A protective octagonal screen made of perforated marble panels, or jalis, with borders of inlaid marble surrounds the two cenotaphs in the central chamber. Octagonal room Each of the jalis, including the larger doorway and north face, were carved from single slabs of marble. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  33. 33. The Interior •Staircases lead to the upper storey that has four octagonal rooms. •The rooms also have balconies with jali screens to allow light and air to filter in to the chambers. Balcony of the octagonal rooms on top floor of the Taj Mahal •All the interior walls of the mausoleum have huge arches that have jalis to allow air and light. Jali screens that allow light and air inside the masoleum •The shining marble cladded on the walls are decorated with beautiful floral patterns using carving and inlay work. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  34. 34. • The inner dome is an umbrella to the central octagonal room. • Four rectangular rooms are situated to the sides • The inner layer of the dome, like the exterior, is made of creamy white marble. •Three-dimensional geometric decoration and a central inlaid motif highlight the interior of the dome. •Following the theme of light, the imitation of the sun could be seen to symbolize Allah's divine presence within the tomb of his devout servant HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  35. 35. Ornamentation and Mouldings •The Taj Mahal depicts elaborate carvings with around forty three different kinds of gems used. •The carving at the Taj Mahal is done using a technique called “manabbat kari”, which essentially is a carving that stands out from a flat surface. •The manabbat kari process involves drawing the flower patterns directly on the marble with henna and then using fine chisels to carve them out. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  36. 36. Ornamentation and Mouldings INLAY WORK HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  41. 41. Materials, Cost and Calligraphy • The Taj Mahal was constructed using materials from all over India and Asia. The buildings are constructed with walls of brick and rubble inner cores faced with either marble or sandstone locked together with iron dowels and clamps. • Much of the calligraphy is composed of florid thuluth script, made of jasper or black marble, inlaid in white marble panels. • Higher panels are written in slightly larger script to reduce the skewing effect when viewed from below. • Throughout the complex, passages from the Qur'an are used as decorative elements. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  42. 42. Storm water management HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  45. 45. The Mosque •The tomb of Mumtaz Mahal has a mosque or the "Masjid" to its left. • Built of red sandstone, the structure complements the pristine white mausoleum. •Spread over 210 feet in length and 90 feet in width, the mosque stands on a raised platform. •The front face of the mosque boasts of one big central iwan and two smaller ones perched on either side on the main one. •The central dome is flanked by two smaller ones on either side and the four corners of the mosque have a chattri. •Other design features include the guldastas or the pinnacles that flank the sides of the iwans. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  46. 46. • Either side of the major iwan is two smaller arches sandwiched between four towering pinnacles. The spandrels above the arches are studded with colored marble inlay and the mosque dados feature naturalistic floral designs. On the roof and complementing the arches below are three marble-coated domes. Inverted lotus shaped designs cloak the top of the domes, surmounted by gilded finials. On the four corners of the mosque are chhatris, or domed kiosks, which have a marble coated veneer. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  47. 47. •The flooring of the mosque is beautifully laid out. •Giving a carpet feel, the floor area is inlaid with red marble stone in the pattern of prayer mats. •The ceiling of the mosque has an ornate display of beautiful geometric patterns. •The white inlay work stand out splendidly against the red sandstone background HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  48. 48. •The mosque also has a "minbar", a platform from where the priest delivers lectures. •The other notable feature of the mosque is the "mihrab" that is an enclosed area showing the direction of Mecca. •One can see a lot of calligraphy on the walls of the interiors, all taken from the Koranic verses. HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  49. 49. View from the rooftop chattri (kiosk) HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL
  50. 50. View from the Minaret HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE III TAJ MAHAL