Taj Mahal is as fascinating as its name. This scintillating white marble beauty draped in legends beckons tourists from far lands to Agra, a city located at the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
Taj Mahal is a blend of Persian, Mughal and Indian architectural styles, carefully planned and executed; artisans, calligraphers, stone cutters and painters from all over his empire, Central Asia and Iran were gathered by Emperor Shah Jahan to build this lavish monument. The architecture of Taj Mahal is amazing to the admirers and a gem for architectural researchers.
The Amazing Symmetry of Taj
Taj Mahal is supposed to be the largest symmetrical building of the world. It is believed that the balance of this symmetrical building is maintained by every part of the complex, from the pillars to the gardens. The complete symmetry on all the four sides creates a charming mirror image on each side. The only part of Taj Mahal which is not at par with the rest of the tomb is the graveyard of Shah Jahan which was added later to the complex. Special mould work in the form of columns can be seen throughout the complex. The heavy silver gates, the gold leaved designs and the blend of white marble and red sandstone offered an exquisite hue to the monument. Taj Mahal is studded with semi-precious stones; one being the famous lapis lazuli.
The Prolific Gardens of Taj
The lush green meadows of Taj Mahal enhance the beauty of the white edifice. The four by four gardens of the monument is known as ‘Charbagh’ and is remarkable with canals and waterways, scientifically dividing the garden. The waterfront which divides the garden and runs just in between adds to the beauty of the monument. Built at the banks of River Yamuna not only provides an enchanting atmosphere to the place, it also served as the main water source for the gardens.
The Landlocked Taj Bomplex
The Taj complex can be divided into five segments; the Darwaza (gateway), the Bageecha (garden), the Masjid (mosque), the Naqqar Khana (servants’ quarter) and the Rauza (tomb). The dome is the most spectacular part of Taj Mahal with an astounding height of 81 feet and 58 feet width. Taj Mahal spreads over a massive area of 42 acres and boasts of being the only monument to be built under the patronage of a single ruler.
The courtyard of Taj Mahal is another important part of the monument. It is subdivided into smaller parts, forming shelters for the servants and consorts. The complex is also distinguishing with several markets, like the caravanserai, katra resham and katra jogidas. There was an economical strategy behind the construction of these markets as these were going to serve as revenue generators for the maintenance of Taj Mahal.
Taj and the Nature
Taj Mahal is close to nature with its organic paintings. The stucco paintings of the monument were coloured with the juice of acanthus leaves. The delicate flower work adds finesse to the memorial.
Taj and Divinity
Emperor Shah Jahan had dedicated Taj Mahal to his beloved empress Mumtaz Mahal and the graveyard of the queen lies here. Hence to add a celestial edge to the memorial, Shah Jahan ordered inscription of 99 names of Allah on both the sides of the graveyard of Mumtaz Mahal. The black Arabic inscriptions of Quran also appear clearly on the white marble walls of Taj. The gardens with waterfront in between are also believed to be made as a replica of the garden of paradise as described in Quran.
Last but not the least; Taj Mahal is magical, changing colours with every phase of the day. This is an extraordinary attribute of the monument. While Taj Mahal has a soft pinkish glow in the early morning, it glitters like gold in the afternoon, while it shines like a pearl on a moonlit night.