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India: Taj Mahal

Posted in Sculptures & Monuments, Worldwide Travel Destinations  by admin on May 5th, 2008

Distinguished as one of the “Eight Wonders of the World”, Taj Mahal is considered as the most picturesque monument developed by the Muslim rulers of India, known as the Mughals. This exquisite creation is made purely of white marble. During a full moon, viewers will appreciate the glowing and shimmering appearance of this marble monument located in Agra, India.

History relates that Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shan Jahan in loving memory of his wife named Queen Mumtaz Mahal. For the love of his wife, the Emperor had the Taj Mahal built to serve as the home of the grave of his dear wife. The burial chamber of Queen Mumtaz Mahal is held on the lower chamber of the mausoleum. When the Emperor died, his grave was also kept in the same mausoleum.

It has been a common practice in accordance with the tradition of the Mughals to change the name of the important ladies of the royal family. This is done during marriage or during some remarkable events in their lives; this name would be their public name that the crowd will be acquainted with. The real name of the Queen was Arjumand Banu, which was later changed to Mumtaz Mahal. Emperor Shan Jahan’s real name was Shahab-ud-din. Prior to being known as Emperor Shan Jahan in 1628; he was known as Prince Khurram.

It took twenty-two years and twenty thousand workers to complete the construction of Taj Mahal in 1648 C.E. The construction cost amounted to 32 million rupees. Workers include skilled craftsmen from different parts of India like Qannauj, Lahore, Multan, and Delhi. More specialized assignment and duties were done by expert craftsmen from Baghdad, Bukhara and Shiraz all under the supervision of the famous Islamic master architect named Ustad ‘Isa.

Interlocking arabesque concept is evident on the architectural design of the Taj Mahal. The marvelous structure is positioned on an elevated square podium with four shortened corners giving it an unequal octagonal shape. Self-replicating geometry and architectural balance of elements are prominently envisioned in every corner of Taj Mahal.

The central dome of Taj Mahal measures 58 feet in diameter. It measures 213 feet tall. On the borders of Taj Mahal are 4 secondary dome chambers. Adding up to the charisma of the Taj Mahal is the flowery pattern carved in the main archways of the Taj Mahal. The garden elements incorporated in special areas of the Taj Mahal are perfect envisions of Arabesque, independent and at the same time representing the entirety of this impressive memorial tomb.

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