Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
- Founded By
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
- Founded In
One of the Seven Wonders of the World & UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Architectural Style
Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent monuments in the world. It is also referred to as “Crown of Palaces”. This mausoleum made up of white marble is situated in Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. This beautiful monument was built by Shah Jahan, Mughal Emperor in fond memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument is world renowned and is recognised as Muslim Art’s jewel and one of the world’s heritages that is admired as a master piece universally.
This building is considered to be one of Mughal architecture’s finest examples. This architectural style has a mix of Islamic, Ottoman Turkish, Indian and Persian elements.
Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. The most striking feature of this mausoleum is its white dome made up of white marble. The building is an integrated structured complex. The work to construct this monument began in 1632 and completed in the year 1653. Thousands of craftsmen and artisans were employed in the construction work.
Shah Jahan became Mughal Emperor when India was at its peak of prosperity in the year 1631. When his third wife Mumtaz Mahal passed away, he was heart-broken during child birth. She was giving birth to his 14th child, Gauhara Begum. In 1632, construction work of Taj Mahal began in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal. It is believed that Taj Mahal is an epitome of love of a husband for his wife. The grief of Shah Jahan is also illustrated in the court chronicles. This grief became the inspiration for the construction of Taj Mahal. In 1648, construction of principal mausoleum finished. Five years later, remaining buildings and the work on garden was finished.
The main focus in Taj Mahal’s complex is the tomb. The main structure rests on a square plinth made from a large, white colored structure made up of marble. The building is known for its symmetry. There is an arch-shaped doorway or an iwan that was topped by finial and a large dome. The basic architectural style used in this structure is Persian like many other Mughal mausoleums and tombs.
With chamfered corners, the base structure is basically a multi chambered and a large cube. It creates an octagon that is unequal and on all four sides, it is about 180 feet or 150 m tall. A vaulted archway or a huge pishtaq frames this iwan on each of the four sides. On either sides, two arched balconies are also present that are similar in shape. On corner areas, the motifs used on stacked pishtaqs are replicated thereby offering a completely symmetrical design on building’s all sides. The tomb is framed by four minarets one placed on each corner. These minarets are set on the plinth and face the chamfered corners. False sarcophagi of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal is housed inside the inner chamber and at the lower level, actual graves are placed.
The dome made up of white marble is the most striking feature of this mausoleum. The length of the base is equal to the base length. The height of the base as well as tomb is 115 feet. This is further accentuated by its base, a cylindrical drum that is about 23 feet in height. The dome is also referred to as guava dome or an onion dome because of its unique shape. Four relatively smaller kiosks or domed chattris emphasizes the dome’s shape. These kiosks are placed on corners that replicate main dome’s onion shape. Providing light inside the dome, the columned bases open through the tomb’s roof. “Guldastas” or tall spires that are highly decorated extends from base walls edges and provides a visual emphasis to the dome’s height. In Guldastas and chattris, the lotus motif has been used extensively. Gilded finial tops the chattris and dome that reflects a mix of Hindustani and Persian decorative elements.
In Northern India, Taj Mahal is situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This monument is situated close to the popular Red Fort. The city is well connected by main means of transportation and the easiest way to reach here is through expressway.
Taj Mahotsav is celebrated with great enthusiasm and joy. One can witness colourful jovial spirit in the visitors coming here. This is a ten day event where the culture of this country is showcased.
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