TAJ MAHAL-THE MEMORIAL OF LOVE
DEWAN PUBLIC SCHOOL, MEERUT (INDIA)
To people the world over, the Taj Mahal, mausoleum of the mughal Empress Mumtaz Mahal, is synonymous with India. Its curving, gently swelling dome and the square base upon which its rests so lightly is a familiar image from hundreds of brochures and travel books. Renowned for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty, it counts among man's proudest creations and is invariably included in the list of the world's foremost wonders. As a tomb, it has no match upon earth, for mortal remains have never been housed in greater grandeur. It is India's noble tribute to the grace of womanhood. The deeper one digs, the more information one finds, offers it a choice of delivery. Let’s delve deeper into some aspect of the architecture or history.
CROWN OF THE PALACE
Historical Significance of the Taj Mahal
(Fig.4) MAP OF AGRA (Fig.5) AREIAL VIEW
OF TAJ MAHAL IN 1921
(Fig.4) MAP OF AGRA
(Fig.5) AREIAL VIEW OF TAJ MAHAL IN 1921
The layout of the entire complex (fig.6,7) can be visualised by an aerial map such as the one that follows-
(fig.8) RECONSTRUCTED GRID PLAN OF TOMB (fig.9) RECONSTRUCTED ELEVATION GRID OF
NORTH FAÇADE OF TOMB
(fig.8) RECONSTRUCTED GRID PLAN OF TOMB
(fig.9) RECONSTRUCTED ELEVATION GRID OF NORTH FAÇADE OF TOMB
The domed mausoleum can seem deceptively simple since on first sight its white marble form appears to be a matchless example of purity and simplicity. An often repeated nineteenth century characterisation of the monument is that "it was built by Titans, finished by jewellers."
PIETRA DURA INLAY
technique known as pietra dura, whereby thin sections of precisely
carved hard and semi-hard gemstones are laid in sockets specially prepared in
the surface of marble, is a mode of ornamentation prominently featured on the
Taj Mahal. Flowers have long been important in Islamic cultures, where they
were generally seen as symbols of the divine
(fig.19)DETAIL OF FLORAL INLAY
(fig.19)DETAIL OF FLORAL INLAY
DOING PIETRA DURA INLAY WORK
(fig.13) ARTIST DOING PIETRA DURA INLAY WORK
HARD STONE CARVING
(fig.18) FLORAL INLAY
ON MARBLE SCREEN SURROUNDING CENOTAPHS (fig.19) SIDE
VIEW, INLAY OF TAJ ENTRANCE (fig.17)DETAIL OF
(fig.18) FLORAL INLAY ON MARBLE SCREEN SURROUNDING CENOTAPHS
(fig.19) SIDE VIEW, INLAY OF TAJ ENTRANCE
(fig.17)DETAIL OF FLORAL RAILING
The Taj Mahal displays exquisitely carved modelled floral sprays sculpted in shallow relief in white marble. The superb quality of the sculpted flowers on the mausoleum can be attributed to the ancient tradition of stone carving in India.
ON WEST DOOR, SURA 82, AL-INFITAR (fig.20) WRITTEN BY
‘ABD AL-HAQQ OF SHIRAZ, IN 1022 (fig.22) TAJ MAHAL,
DETAIL OF QUR’ANIC CALLIGRAPHY ON SOUTH ARCH, SURA 36, YA SIN
(fig.21) CALLIGRAPHY ON WEST DOOR, SURA 82, AL-INFITAR
(fig.20) WRITTEN BY ‘ABD AL-HAQQ OF SHIRAZ, IN 1022
(fig.22) TAJ MAHAL, DETAIL OF QUR’ANIC CALLIGRAPHY ON SOUTH ARCH, SURA 36, YA SIN
The inscriptions at the Taj Mahal have been judiciously selected and artistically inscribed over the main gateway, in the Mosque and the tomb proper, in panels around the arched portals, alcoves and the niches. They are chiefly verses from the Koran, which is considered by Muslims to be the word of God as revealed to Mohammed.
In this technique, a thin layer of colour pigment (hirmich red earth) is laid over the white (safeda white lead) plaster surface. A floral or conventional design is then drawn on the colour surface, according to which the colour surface is scrapped off, thus exposing the white plaster underneath, now seen only through the scrapped off design. It is thus 'incised painting'.
Despite several controversies that claim that the Taj Mahal was designed by an Italian Geronimo Veroneo, or a French silversmith Austin de Bordeaux, the first real evidence of the architect's identity emerged in the 1930s when a seventeenth century manuscript called the Diwan-i-Muhandis was found to mention the Taj Mahal, a collection of several poems written by Luft Allah, including several verses in which he describes his father, Ustad Ahmad from Lahore, as the architect of the Taj Mahal. Ahmad was a Persian engineer-astrologer. Luft Allah also states that Shah Jehan conferred upon his father the title "Nadir al-Asr" (the Wonder of the Age). It is interesting to note that Ustad Ahmad had a number of aliases : Ustad Khan Effendi, Ustad Mohammed, Isa Khan, Isa Effendi .
It must be emphasised that the design of the Taj Mahal cannot be ascribed to any single master-mind. The Taj is the culmination of an evolutionary process. It is the perfected stage in the development of Mughal architecture. The names of many of the builders who participated in the construction of the Taj in different capacities have come down to us through Persian sources. A project as ambitious as the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal demanded talent from many quarters. From turkey came Ismail Khan a designer of hemispheres and the a builder of domes. Qazim Khan, a native of Lahore travelled to Agra to cast the solid gold finial that crowned the Turkish master's dome. Chiranjilal, a local lapidary from Delhi was chosen as the chief sculptor and mosaicist. Amanat Khan from Shiraz was the chief calligrapher, and this fact is attested on the Taj gateway where his name has been inscribed at the end of the inscription. Muhammad Hanif was the Supervisor of masons, while Mir Abdul Karim and Mukkarimat Khan of Shiraz handled finances and the management of daily production. Sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlayers from South India, stonecutters from Baluchistan, a man who specialised in building turrets, another who carved only marble flowers - thirty seven men in all formed the creative nucleus, and to this core was added a labour force of twenty thousand workers recruited from across North India.
(fig.25) THE TAJ IN
(fig.25) THE TAJ IN SILHOUETTE
Aesthetics-background, marble, forms &lines, solid & voids, soaring effects, correction of illusionary effects, fluted pilasters, uniform size of calligraphic characters.
FACADE (fig.26) CEILING
DETAILS, MOSQUE (fig.28) GATEWAY, MOSQUE FACADE
(fig.27) MOSQUE FACADE
(fig.26) CEILING DETAILS, MOSQUE
(fig.28) GATEWAY, MOSQUE FACADE
On either side of the Taj Mahal are buildings of red sandstone. The one to the west is a Mosque. It faces towards Mecca and is used for prayer. Before we have a look at the mosque, let us take note of a small stone enclosure along the western boundary wall where the well of the Mosque is located. This greenery shaded structure, measuring 19 ft. by 6.5 ft. marks the site where the remains of Mumtaz Mahal were deposited when first brought to Agra. From this temporary grave they were removed to their present place of internment in the mausoleum.
(fig.29) VIEW OF
FOUNTAIN IN TAJ GARDENS
(fig.29) VIEW OF FOUNTAIN IN TAJ GARDENS
A green carpet of garden runs from the main gateway to the foot of the Taj. In essence, it is a Persian garden, a from born and nursed to maturity in the desert flat of Persia.the image of the taj mahal is perfectely reflected in the central tank,which is also known as “celestial pool of abundance”.
The Water Devices -
architect who was fully aware of the unaesthetic appearance of the grotesque pur-ramps
and crude conduits, designed a clever system to procure water for the Taj
through underground pipes.
(fig.35) SIDE VIEW OF
(fig.35) SIDE VIEW OF NAQQAR KHANA
passed through a large courtyard, a jilokhana to enter the main gateway
on the south. This courtyard was a place where travellers halted. Here, also,
the poor were
provided with food and shelter.
(fig.38) VIEW OF
NORTH FAÇADE OF GATEWAY (fig.36) GATEWAY,
INTERIOR DOMED HALL (fig.37) GATEWAY,
SOUTH FAÇADE,DETAIL OF SECOND HALF OF SURA 89,AL-FAJR
(fig.38) VIEW OF NORTH FAÇADE OF GATEWAY
(fig.36) GATEWAY, INTERIOR DOMED HALL
(fig.37) GATEWAY, SOUTH FAÇADE,DETAIL OF SECOND HALF OF SURA 89,AL-FAJR
TAJ MAHAL-A FEAST FOR SENSES
Bibi-ka-muqbara by aurangazeb, Victoria memorial by lord curzon in 1903, a model Taj Mahal in bangalore by a sorrow husband in 1998 and many other attempts have not succeeded to make an edifice with the singular pathetic distinctness with which every part of the taj mahal gives utterance to sorrow and affection. This year taj celebrates its 350th birthday with a cultural extravaganza that hopes to pay a fitting tribute to the historical symbol of love & with the same spirit in mind is the above work. Explore360-degree panorama, capture the beauty of nature & architecture of this world wonder, short narrative gives viewer perspective and content, photos &text add depth for those hungry for deeper knowledge-learn about preserved heritage, Islamic decorative schemes in the above organized thoughts.
Let the splendor of the diamond, pearl and ruby vanish like the magic shimmer of the rainbow. Only let this one teardrop, the Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time...
DETAIL OF DOMED PAVILIONS ABOVE NORTH FACADE (fig.39) GATEWAY,
DETAIL OF LEFT SIDE OF SOUTH FACADE
(fig.40) GATEWAY, DETAIL OF DOMED PAVILIONS ABOVE NORTH FACADE
(fig.39) GATEWAY, DETAIL OF LEFT SIDE OF SOUTH FACADE
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