Where is Taj Mahal situated
The Taj Mahal is an immense mausoleum complex situated located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River near Agra, India. Apart from being just a memorial in the name of a spouse Mumtaz Mahal. UNESCO declares it as a World Heritage site in 1983. It is one of the world’s most archetypal monuments to be named as one of the wonders of the world.
History of Taj Mahal
In 1631 AD, Shah Jahan, the Emperor of the Mughal Dynasty, was grief-stricken when Mumtaz, who was his third wife, died giving birth to their fourteenth child. Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife. An estimated 20,000 workers were employed and housed nearby in a town built especially for them called Mumtazabad. The marble used was quarried in Makrana, 200 miles away. Reportedly, it took 1,000 elephants and an untold number of oxen to drag the extremely heavy marble to the building site. It took 22 years to build and finally reached completion in 1653.
Architectural Layout of Taj Mahal
Every year it attracts visitors all across the globe for its symmetry, structural beauty, intricate calligraphy, inlaid gemstones, and magnificent garden. While earlier Mughal buildings promoted using red sandstone, it was Shah Jahan who developed the use of white marble for building the Monument. Buildings under his guardianship reached new levels of refinement.
- Shah Jahan’s, passion for architecture made him work on the plans directly with the inputs from the best architects of his time.
- He chose to decorate white marble with semi-precious stones such as jade, crystal, lapis lazuli, amethyst and turquoise using a technique known as pietra dura.
- The mausoleum is of white marble that reflects hues according to the intensity of sunlight or moonlight.
- The Monument lies resting in the middle of a wide plinth at the height of 23 feet.
- Its central dome stretches at the height of 240 feet and has four smaller domes surrounding it; four minarets, stand at the four corners.
- It has four almost identical facades, each with a full central arch rising to 108 feet at its apex and slanted corners incorporating smaller arches.
Five principal elements embrace the structural beauty of the complex: the main gateway, garden, mosque, jawāb (literally “answer”; a building was mirroring the mosque), and mausoleum (including its four minarets.
Why was Taj Mahal built
The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan Grandson of Akbar the Great, to immortalize his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. She died soon after giving birth to their fourteenth child while accompanying Shah Jahan near the encampment at Burbanpur in 1631. Court chronicles of Taj Mahal narrate Shah Jahan was filled with grief and poured his emotion into designing an elaborate and expensive mausoleum that would bring all those that had come before it to shame. The intention for constructing the Taj Mahal, “the crown of the region“, was to represent Heaven, Jannah, on Earth.