Taj Mahal is one of the most fascinating memorials of the world. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, every part of Taj Mahal is beautiful, unique in itself. Taj Mahal is made of white marble, studded with semi-precious stones and exhibiting holy verses of Quran. Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal and hence he had left no stone unturned to make it special.
The rest house located within the Taj complex is an important part of Taj Mahal. Popularly known as Naqqar Khana or Mihman Khana, the rest house of Taj Mahal resembles its mosque in structure and texture. This rest house lies just opposite to the mosque on the western side and hence plays a pivotal role in maintaining the balance of the large symmetrical structure of Taj Mahal; Taj Mahal is considered to be one of the largest symmetrical structures of the earth. You can clearly distinguish between the rest house and the mosque as, while the mosque consists of the Mihrab which shows the direction of Mecca and Minbar, the seat of the priest, the rest house does not contain any such arrangements.
The rest house is also made of red sandstone like the mosque and with a white marble facing, offers a spectacular look to the entire building. The rest house also has dominant portals known as Iwan; there are small Iwan on both sides of the rest house, each with a decorative marble dome of floral carvings. The pinnacles of the rest house Iwan depict lotus flowers while the small domes of the kiosks come with marble veneer.
Taj Mahal was repaired several times after its construction to keep it intact. The finials that adorn the rest house of Taj Mahal were added in 1940 during the repair works. There are four finials here, the first being placed in 1810 by Captain Joseph Tailor and a part of maintenance work and the fourth and last being the one placed in 1940. One of the striking aspects of the rest house is that it does not have any inscriptions from Quran, the holy book of Islam. As it served the purpose of a rest house, it had been soothingly decorated with floral motifs.
The true purpose of the rest house of Taj Mahal is yet to be discovered. While some feel that it was built just to provide symmetrical harmony to the entire structure, rest believe that it also served as an accommodation for people who visited Taj Mahal to attain the death anniversary of Mumtaz Mahal. As per folklore, this rest house was an assembly hall for the devotees who visited Taj Mahal to offer their prayers at the mosque. Whatever be the fact, it cannot be denied that the rest house of Taj Mahal adds to the elegance of the monument along with ensuring proper balance of the edifice.
Hence visit Taj Mahal to explore every part of it, as this memorial of love is majestic; every segment of Taj Mahal has a purpose to serve.
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