Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal 1

Taj Mahal

The most famous structure in India, the Taj Mahal, is a timeless representation of love. The Taj Mahal's architect, Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, claimed that it caused "the sun and the moon to shed tears from their eyes." Rabindranath Tagore, the Nobel laureate, referred to it as a "teardrop on the cheek of eternity."

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The architect of the Taj Mahal, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, once remarked that the structure was so beautiful that “the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.” Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore has also referred to it as a “teardrop on the cheek of eternity.” Thousands of visitors from all over the world go to this incredibly ethereal marble monument each year; it is widely regarded as the most exquisite structure ever built by human hands. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan erected the monument as a tribute to his late wife Mumtaz Mahal. As one of the world’s seven wonders, it serves as a source of pride for both India and Agra. One of the most enduring representations of India, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that appears in nearly all works of literature on the nation. Its name, which translates to “the palace of the crown,” is thought to have come from the Persian language. Taj means crown, and mahal means palace.

It’s interesting to note that Mumtaz Mahal, which translates to “the crown of the palace,” was the name of the queen for whom it was initially constructed, Arjumand Begum. The Taj Mahal is most famously associated with love, as a bereaved emperor’s tribute to his departed queen. However, there is another narrative that regards it as Shah Jahan’s concept of royalty. According to legend, he aimed to construct a monument that would serve as a representation of heaven on earth, enhancing the monarch’s authority and elevating him to the status of God.

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Additionally, it’s often accepted that Shah Jahan hired workers from Persia and Italy to complete this marble monument. It is reported that Ustad Isa Afandi created the site plan and Ustad Ahmad Lahori oversaw the project. Amanat Ali Khan Shirazi is credited with the calligraphic work. 

This construction is interesting because, with the exception of the side facing the River Yamuna, all four sides have the same appearance. It is reported that this side was carefully decorated to act as the emperor’s main entrance. When the current tourist gate to the Taj Mahal was being utilized as a point of entry for soldiers and commoners, Shah Jahan would approach the structure from the river on a barge. The four portals each have elaborate inscriptions. As the walls are decorated with pietra dura mosaics and marble carvings. Several valuable jewels and stones, including emerald, mother of pearl, lapis lazuli, and cornelian, were formerly incorporated into its design. It is reported that construction on it started around 1631. It’s said that this architectural wonder took 20 years to complete!

In addition, it has many optical tricks and skillfully designed architectural barriers. For example, the Taj Mahal appears big and majestic when viewed from the main gate, but it appears to reduce in size as you approach. Furthermore, although though they appear to be perfectly erect, the minarets around the building are really angled away from it. This is done to ensure that they fall away from the tomb rather than on it in the event of a tragedy like an earthquake.

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