TAJ MAHAL

Shah Jahan built taj Mahal in the memory of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Taj Mahal was the culmination point of Indo-Persian architecture. The Mughals Emperor was always fond of constructing monuments. Perhaps they knew that they would be gone but these structures will remind the world of their grandeur. Shah Jahan was particularly fond of building. He built the city of Shah Jahanabad, which today is called the old Delhi. He loved construction more than that he loved his wife. Mumtaz Mahal as the name indicates, her beauty is compared with the light of heavan. She died while giving birth to her fourteenth child. Shah Jahan was so shocked by her death that his hair turned grey over night. Taj took 20 years to be completed with 20,000 workers working on it since 1631. The main architect of this poigant Mughal mausoleum was Isa Khan who came from Iran. But the decorations are said to be doneby Austin of Bordeaux and Veroneo of Venice. It is strange that marble is not found in Agra but for Taj it had to be carried all the way from mines of Makrana. Shah Jahan wanted to build a Black Taj as his mausoleum, which would have been in contrast to the white Taj. But before his ideas could take shape he was imprisoned by his son and disposed off in the Agra fort. There are three entrances to the Taj. The grand gateway is made from red Sandstone with Koranic verses inscribed on it. It is a perfect entrance to the magnificent Taj but today this act as exit, the entrance is through a small gate beside it. The entrance leads you to the watercourse, which is surrounded by a well-laid and well-maintained Mughal Charbagh. The watercourse is fitted with fountains, which are started only on special occasions. The refection of Taj in the water of the watercourse has inspired many artists for their art. To the west of the watercourse is a small museum, which among other things displays the original architectural drawings of the Taj, information on the semiprecious stone used in the construction and some celadon Which is said to change colour if poison was served in them. Towards the North of the CharBagh stands the Taj on a large platform of marble. Four long minarets on the corners of the platform give continuity to the structure and add grace to the beauty of Taj. Without these minarets the Taj will seem barren. A painting without any picture. The main structure of Taj has a bulbous dome surrounded by four small domes. Below the main dome are finely cut and intricately carved marble screen which admit light inside. The echo inside the dome is excellent. There are two tombs as you enter the Taj. But these are not the original tombs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan. It must be noted that Shah Jahan was also laid besides his beloved wife but his tomb disturbs the balance and architectural harmony of the building. Taj was designed and built for just one tomb, any addition disturbs the harmony of the Taj. Nevertheless, there are two tombs now and following a strange Mughal tradition these tombs on the upper chambers are not the original ones. The real ones are under the first structure.
It must always be remembered that Taj is not a mosque rather a mausoleum and the twin buildings on the right hand side are the mosques where prayers are organized. Taj is built in perfect symmetry any it looks equally graceful from any direction, from any angle you see it. The beauty of the Taj is more ravishing on full moon nights. As marble traps light and is opaque in nature the reflection on the full moon nights is a visual treat for the eyes.