The Taj Mahal
Also commonly known as ‘The Taj’ is an immense mausoleum built with white marble in Agra, Uttar Pradesh by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal. It was built between 1631 and 1648 and is considered to be one of the greatest architectural achievements.
Located on the right bank of Yamuna River in Agra, The Taj Mahal is placed within a vast Mughal Garden spread out in nearly 17 hectares. The Complex also has a mosque and a guest house.
For the construction of The Taj Mahal, masons, in layers, calligraphers, dome builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of Mughal Empire. Many others joined the team from parts of Central Asia and Iran too. Main architect of the Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmad Lahori.
The uniqueness of Taj Mahal lies in the placement of tomb at one end of the quadripartite garden rather than centre. This arrangement offers a very clear and distant view of monument. The tomb is further raised on a square platform.
The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal is in center of the tomb chamber, The cenotaph of Shah Jahan is greater than Mumtaz Mahal and was installed more than 30 years later. The real graves are in the lower tomb chambers.
The Taj Mahal is a perfect example of most symmetrically planned building. An emphasis of bilateral symmetry along a central axis on which the main features are placed is remarkable.
The building material used to Build Taj Mahal was brick-in-lime mortar veneered with red sandstone and marble and inlay work of precious/semi precious stones.
The mosque and the guest house in the Taj Mahal complex are built of red sandstone in unlike the main mausoleum contrast to the marble tomb in the centre. Both the buildings have a large platform over the terrace at their front. Both the mosque and the guest house are the identical structures.
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