Friday, April 16, 2010

Taj Mahal

                                                        Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal stands in the city of Agra, on the banks of the Yamuna river, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Muntaz was married at 21, but in 1631, she died at the age of 39, at Burhanpur.
The construction of the Taj Mahal started in 1632, and was completed by 1654 AD. Tavernier,an eminent traveler and historian of those times, records that over 20,000 workmen laboured for 22 years to complete the Taj Mahal. Material for its construction was brought from all over India and Asia. In all 28 types of precious and semi precious stones were inlaid into white marble to create this wonder of the world. 

The Taj Mahal complex comprises of five main elements: the Darwaza or main gateway, the Bagicha or garden, the Mosque, the Naqqarkhana or rest house, and Ihe Rauza or Mausoleum. The central dome, which is 187 feet high, is surrounded by four minarets. The mosque is to the left of the monument. The architecture combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian, and Islamic architecture. Ustad Ahmed Lahori was the Chief Architect, Ismail Khan Afridi of Turkey was the dome-maker, and Amanat Khan Shirazi was the calligrapher whose genius lives on through the enduring beauty they created.

The colours change with the hours and the seasons. Pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening, and golden when the moon shines. It is said that these changes depict the different moods of woman.

For centuries, it has inspired poets, painters and musicians to try and capture its elusive magic in word, colour and song. It stands as an ultimate memorial to love and remains incomparable.

In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."

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