INTRODUCTION The TAJ MAHAL is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world. It is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal Emperor SHAH JAHAN in memory of his third wife, MUMTAZ MAHAL. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized not only as the „jewel of muslim art in India‟ but also considered as one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world‟s heritage. It is the finest example of mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from, persian, turkish, and Indian architectural styles. The princilpal designers are Abd-ul-Karim, Makramat khan and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
Origin and inspiration In 1631, the greatest Mughal emperor „SHAH JAHAN‟ was grief stricken when his third wife, „MUMUTAZ MAHAL’ died during the birth of their 14th child. The construction began in 1632.The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. The total completion of the masterpiece took about 22 years. The cost of construction went up to a mamoth sum of 32 crore rupees.
location It is the city of AGRA that has received the honor of having one of the seven wonders of the world. It is situated at the banks of river YAMUNA, which is another striking feature of TAL MAHAL. At the time of Shah Jahan, Agra was called as Akbarabad.Till date it remains a major tourist place, courtesy three of the most famous buildings like AGRA FORT, FATEHPUR SIKRI, and the TAJ MAHAL ofcourse. Shah Jahan chose a peaceful site about one and a half miles away from agra at the southern edge of the city.The closeness of yamuna river not only gave it a scenic edge but also met the need of water during construction.
Shah Jahan Shah Jahan was born on January 5, 1592 in the lahore city of Pakistan. He was the son of Emperor Jahangir. He also had a name „KHURRAM’ meaning „JOYFUL’ on persia. He got married to Mumtaz begum at a very tender age of 14 and since then Mumtaz became his inseparable companion. Mumtaz died in 1631 and the years after this took a permanent place in world history. The great Mughal Emperor died on January 22, 1666.
Taj Mahal Main Gateway Referred to as Darwaza-i-Rauza or “gate of the mausoleum” by the architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri himself,has a mamoth height of 93 ft. It was completed in 8 years.It is an image of a white tear drop with a red trident located above the pointed tip of the niche. It is bordered with Arabic calligraphy, made of black stone with optical illusions in the letters inscribed on it. It is one of the five main elements of this magnificent monument. Adorned with Hindu Motifs, it is a tall niche doorway in the shape of an Ogival arch that rises till the mid- height of the structure. All the motifs reflegt a Hindu touch. Entwined flowers, mainly red lotuses, leaves and vines ornament the sloping sides of the niche.
Mumtaz Mahal MUMTAZ was born on APRIL, 1593 in AGRA. She is also known as ARJUMAND BANU BEGUM,the daughter of Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan. Her unquestionable beauty made Shah Jahan so excited that both got married at a very young age. In 1630 Mumtaz accompanied Shah Jahan in a fighting campaign in the Deccan Plateau where she died after a year while giving birth to a child. Taj Mahal was built as a memorial on the death of this beloved companion of Shah Jahan.
Taj Mahal Architecture Building of Taj Mahal involved 22,000 workers including, masons, painters, calligraphers, dome-builders and other artisans from all over central Asia and Iran. The entire Taj complex consists of five major constituents, namely Darwaza, Bageecha, Masjid, Naqqar Khana, and Rauza. It covers an area of 42 acres in total with the terrain gradually sloping from south to north, towards the river Yamuna in the form of descending terraces. The original door of the massive sandstone gateway was made out of solid silver. The main tomb stands on a square platform raised 50m above the river bank and was levelled with dirt to reduce seepage from the river.
Best time to visit TAJ sun rise up from under the sea of Watching Taj Mahal at MAHAL sky is a sight to behold, and what better way to experience it than to watch it take its place up there while we stand on the premises.Taj Mahal gets transformed from soft grey and pink to a soft red glow. The very best time to visit is between October to March. At sun set, it gets shades of fiery yellow which is being transformed into soft exotic orange and finally to pearl white again. At full moon light, it glows like silver and seems to represent presence of GOD, who is never represented in the anthropomorphic form.
Famous sayings on Taj Mahal “The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs and makes sun and moon shed tears from their eyes.”----- Shah Jahan. “It appears like a perfect pearl on an azure ground. The effect is such I have never experienced from any work of art.”----British Painter, Hodges. “Did u ever build a castle in the air? Here is one, brought down to earth and fixed for the wonder of ages.”----American novelist, Bayard Taylor. “If I had never done anything else in India, I have written my name here, and the letters are a living joy.”- ---Lord Curzon.
His own wordsShould guilty seek asylum here,Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin,Should a sinner make way to this mansion,All his past sins are to be washed away,The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes,In this world this edifice has been made;To display thereby the creator’s glory.------------ SHAH JAHAN