Taj Mahal: Pristine Beauty

 

 

Taj Mahal is an architectural wonder in pristine white marble, built by the Mughal monarch Shah-i-Jahan in 17th century. Built in the loving memory of his wife Mumtaj Mahal, this symbol of love took 22 years for 20,000 men to be completed .

A 10-mile long ramp of tramped earth was built to transport the blocks of marble from Makrana, a place in Rajasthan to Agra. The marble was hoisted by means of an elaborate post-and-beam pulley manned by teams of mules and masses of workers tugging and hauling.

The Makrana white marble of the monument is noted for its subtle variation of light, tint and tone at different times of the day, which in turn gives a unique visual effect to the Taj. The splendor in marble appears pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These colors are often compared to the different moods of a woman. This visual effect is attributed to the fact that Taj is set against the plain across the river, which in turns lent myriad reflection to the monument.

Taj has perfect symmetry and curvaceous dome. Its walls are embellished with delicate floral calligraphic designs

and semiprecious stones. In search of plush fittings and furnishings Mughal caravans searched the length and breath of the country and also exported materials from outside India.
Some notable features of the Taj are:

  • It is built on a 6.6-meter high platform.
  • The interior octagonal chambers are connected to one another by diagonal passages.
  • The interior and the exterior of the main building are decorated with screens, calligraphy and inlay work.
  • At each of the four comers of the main structure, there is a minaret

There are certain legends and myths associated with Taj. It is widely believed that Shah Jahan considered building another Taj in black marble across the river. Another, popular story that has been embraced by all and one in sundry is that Shah Jahan ordered the right hand of the chief mason to be cut off so that this splendor in stone could never be created again.

Moving away from the realm of myths and legends and coming to reality is the fact that Taj Project cost dearly to Shah Jahan, he was ousted by his son Aurangzeb and imprisoned in Red Fort from where he gazed Taj. After his death, he was buried in Taj alongside his dear wife in whose memory the dream in marble was executed.


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