Bewitched, beguiled, bedazzled- this is what you feel when you take a glimpse of the mausoleum carved out of shimmering white marble standing with all its oozing flamboyance and aura to spell-bind its visitors. Snuggled along the banks of the picturesque Yamuna River in Agra, Taj Mahal testifies to the outstanding accomplishment of architectural wonders by the Mughals, a fact that went on to elevate it to the pedestal of being one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Such was the exquisiteness of the artistry and acumen at a time when technology was an unheard proposition, that the Taj still retains its original charm and bloom in all their intricacies. Read on to enlighten yourself more on this marvelous masterpiece of the Mughals.
History of the Taj
What lends the Taj Mahal its quintessential fervor and vitality is the heartrending story of love, ardent and intense in its passion whose soul is imbued in every carving on the walls of the mausoleum. It had been built as a memoir of the impassioned love of Emperor Shah Jahan, the grandson of the great Emperor Akbar for his stunningly beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal after her demise during the birth of the 14th child. Mumtaz Mahal, known as Arjunmand Banu Begum prior to her marriage with the emperor, was a Muslim Persian Princess and the second wife of Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan was madly in love and adoration with Mumtaz and such was the fervent feeling of admiration for her, that her death came as a bolt from the blue and turned the king into a remorseful being. He set about to fulfill the last dream of his beloved wife. This was related to raising the sublime, stately tomb in her memory in the same year of her death in 1631. A visit to this imperial structure would reveal two sepulchers, that of the emperor and his wife lying side by side, symbolizing their union after death.
It took the undaunted efforts of over twenty thousand masons, inlayers, calligraphers, painters, dome-builders and varied types of artists toiling with herculean marble stones and intricate craftwork for 22 long years to create the Taj as it is today. The final touch was bestowed in 1653 after spending as much as about 32 million rupees. The fine arabesque style of architectural artistry with each complete element mingling and merging to become one with the primary infrastructural layout is exceptionally striking. The symmetry in the designs and geometrical styles is what lends the structure its unique architectural enigma. Floral designs, as was the archetypal Islamic architectural tradition, inimitable in their beauty are simply mesmerizing. Equally arresting are the calligraphic designs embracing beautiful gem-studded artistry with jasper and agate. The archways exude the holy inscriptions from the Quran, while the main gateway is held with great awe for its subtle grandeur. The minarets on four corners with domed chambers on each surround the main dome with a diameter of fifty-eight feet in the center. The lush gardens flanked by a mosque and a guesthouse on each side enhance the beauty of the architectural wonder.
The Taj as Seen at Different Parts of the Day
Masked in mysticism, magic, and melancholia, the magnanimous Taj Mahal in her mesmerizing white marble trousseau dons a different garb at each part of the day. With the advent of dawn, a misty reddish tingle shrouds the immaculate beauty with gradual blossoming of the pearly edifice into a dazzling white monument. As the sun goes beyond the oblivion, the Taj changes its garb splashed with orange-pinkish hues, to finally turn into a majestic, imperial, silvery edifice shining to its glory, especially on moonlit nights.
The impeccable beauty of the Taj Mahal goes beyond expression and words, and it can only be savored to the actuality by visiting this overwhelmingly stunning memorabilia once in your life.