بنای تاج محل، هندوستان
که شاه جهان با عشق پایههایش را بنانهاد......
Easily one of the most recognizable buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal
's harmonious integration with its environment makes it a prime destination for many. Completed in 1648 as a mausoleum for Shah Jahan
's late wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it stands as a symbol of eternal love as its history and beauty never fail to captivate the heart.
More on the fascinating history of the Taj Mahal
after the break.
More than twenty thousand workers were hired to complete the masterpiece that is the Taj Mahal
from its grand exterior to the most intricate details of the interior
spaces. Construction began in 1632 and continued persistently until 1648
when the principal mausoleum was completed and the other surrounding
buildings started. It wasn't until five years later that these and the
gardens were finished.
The Taj Mahal
is a perfect representation of the Mughal style, which fuses
architecture techniques of Persian, Islamic and Indian styles. This
connection can be easily made, as the red sandstone and white marble
materials are classic to the Mughal style. The most recognizable aspect
of the complex is the tomb; standing on a square plinth, the structure
consists of a symmetrical building with an arch-shaped doorway, or iwan,
topped with a large dome and finial. These basic elements are Persian
multi-chambered cube has chamfered corners, which creates an unequal
octagon that measures about 55 meters on each side. All four walls frame
the iwan with their vaulted archways, or pishtaqs. The
boundaries of the white marble tomb are framed with four minarets, one
at each corner. Designed to be functional minarets, they are traditional
elements of mosques that call Islamic faithful to prayer as they stand
more than 40 meters tall. In the event that the minarets collapsed, they
were designed and built to fall away from the tomb. In the main
chamber, false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan can be found,
and their actual graves rest lower into the ground.
distinguishable feature of the structure is the marble dome, with a
height around 35 meters, that sits atop a cylindrical drum roughly 7
meters high. Decorated with a lotus design, the top of the dome is
accentuated which makes it appear even taller. This shape is replicated
in the four smaller domed kiosks at the corners, with bases that open to
provide light to the interior of the tomb. Spires that are tall and
decorative extend from the edges of walls of the base, which also
emphasize the height and repeat the lotus motif.
Evidence of the thousands of craftsmen and workers that were used to build the Taj Mahal
is found in the detail of the surface area, which is related
proportionally on every scale. With elements varying from paint, stucco,
stone inlays and carvings, they are used to represent calligraphy,
abstract forms and vegetative motifs. Passages from the Qur'an are also
used, specifically ones that refer to themes of judgement.
is hard to believe that the interior can be just as captivating as the
exterior, but the inlays of precious and semiprecious gemstones and the
detailed carvings tie the astonishing experiences together, creating a
harmonious and somewhat religious encounter. The space is defined by
eight pishtaq arches, which form four central upper arches. These become
balconies and viewing areas, with exterior windows featuring marvelous
views and intricate screens cut from marble. Light enters through these
windows as well as through openings in the corners of the roof.
garden is divided into 16 sunken flowerbeds, surrounding a central
reflecting pool on the north-south axis. Typical gardens were designed
with the tomb or pavilion in the center, so the Taj Mahal
is unusual in that the main element is located at the end of the
garden. At the other ends of the garden are the mausoleums built for
Shah Jahan's other wives, as well as one for Mumtaz's favorite servant.
Composed mostly of red sandstone, these were more similar to the Mughal
tombs of the era. These two grand buildings are open to the sides of the
tomb, and are mirror images of each other. One is a mosque, and the
other is used as an architectural balance and possibly as a guesthouse.
Shah Jahan described the Taj Mahal
in these words:
Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator's glory.
In 1983, the Taj Mahal
became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.