Taj Mahal - India

Exterior decorationThe exterior decorations of Taj Mahal are among the finest to be found in Mughal architecture. As the surface area changes, a large pishtaq has more area than a smaller, the decorations are refined proportionally. The decorative elements were created by applying paint or stucco, or by stone inlays or by carvings. In line with the Islamic prohibition of the use of anthropomorphic forms, the decorative elements can be grouped into either calligraphy, abstract forms or vegetative motifs.The calligraphy found in Taj Mahal are of florid thuluth script, created by Persian callig

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hoo haa :

What do you think about Taj Mahal? about love.

Tropical Mango :
"I think that's the sweetest thing that a guy can ever do for the woman that he loves. My parents went there on their honeymoon. It's so romantic!"
Michael M :
"exciting building."
Wonderwoman :
"that's true love. when you are inspired to do soemthing that's love."
This.Is.My.Unique.&.Clever.Name. :
"I think it's beautiful. The fact that he put that much work and effort into constructing a building to imortalize his love for his wife is just amazing. They will both live forever because of this."
Pascha :
"The building is beautiful, but I wonder about the man's relationship with all his wives and his children. Research what happened to this family. One of the sons wound up imprisoning his father and killing or imprisoning other siblings. It's pretty shocking, but this sort of thing happened in royal families, especially when there was polygamy. Love should be able to create a safe environment for all."
SgtMoto :
"From the photos I have seen of the Taj Mahal, it has to be the greatest attestement to enduring love. But when I think about it more, I wonder if the creation of the Taj was more of an attestment to Shah Jahan, who had it built, was more of an extension of his own ego."
hoo haa :

What do you think about Taj Mahal?

bhuvan :
"The Taj Mahal (Devanagari: ताज महल, Nastaliq: تاج محل) is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned it as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Construction began in 1632 and was completed in approximately 1648. Some dispute surrounds the question of who designed the Taj Mahal; it is clear a team of designers and craftsmen were responsible for the design, with Ustad Ahmad Lahauri considered the most likely candidate as the principal designer.[1] The Taj Mahal (sometimes called "the Taj") is generally considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements of Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar part of the monument, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 when it was described as a "universally admired masterpiece of the world's heritage."[1]. On July 7th, 2007 the Taj Mahal was named as one of the new 7 wonders of the world. In 1631 Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal's period of greatest prosperity, was griefstricken when his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their daughter Gauhara Begum, their fourteenth child[2]. Contemporary court chronicles concerning Shah Jahan's grief form the basis of the love story traditionally held as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal.[3] [4] Construction of the Taj Mahal was begun soon after Mumtaz's death. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648, and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. Visiting Agra in 1663, the French traveller François Bernier wrote the following: I shall finish this letter with a description of the two wonderful mausoleums which constitute the chief superiority of Agra over Delhi. One was erected by Jehan-guyre [sic] in honor of his father Ekbar; and Chah-Jehan raised the other to the memory of his wife Tage Mehale, that extraordinary and celebrated beauty, of whom her husband was so enamoured it is said that he was constant to her during life, and at her death was so affected as nearly to follow her to the grave.[5] The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on many design traditions, particularly Persian and earlier Mughal architecture. Specific inspiration came from a number of successful Timurid and Mughal buildings. These include the Gur-e Amir (the tomb of Timur, progenitor of the Mughal dynasty, in Samarkand),[6] Humayun's Tomb, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb (sometimes called the Baby Taj), and Shah Jahan's own Jama Masjid in Delhi. Under his patronage, Mughal building reached new levels of refinement.[7] While previous Mughal building had primarily been constructed of red sandstone, Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones. The complex is set in and around a large charbagh (a formal Mughal garden divided into four parts). Measuring 300 meters × 300 meters, the garden uses raised pathways which divide each quarter of the garden into 16 sunken parterres or flowerbeds. A raised marble water tank at the center of the garden, halfway between the tomb and the gateway, and a linear reflecting pool on the North-South axis reflect the Taj Mahal. Elsewhere the garden is laid out with avenues of trees and fountains[8]. The charbagh garden was introduced to India by the first Mughal emperor Babur, a design inspired by Persian gardens. The charbagh is meant to reflect the gardens of Paradise (from the Persian paridaeza — a walled garden). In mystic Islamic texts of the Mughal period, paradise is described as an ideal garden, filled with abundance. Water plays a key role in these descriptions: In Paradise, these text say, four rivers source at a central spring or mountain, and separate the garden into north, west, south and east. Most Mughal charbaghs are rectangular in form, with a tomb or pavilion in the center of the garden. The Taj Mahal garden is unusual in that the main element, the tomb, is located at the end rather than at the center of the garden. But the existence of the newly discovered Mahtab Bagh or "Moonlight Garden" on the other side of the Yamuna provides a different interpretation — that the Yamuna itself was incorporated into the garden's design, and was meant to be seen as one of the rivers of Paradise. The layout of the garden, and its architectural features such as its fountains, brick and marble walkways, and geometric brick-lined flowerbeds are similar to Shalimar's, and suggest that the garden may have been designed by the same engineer, Ali Mardan. Early accounts of the garden describe its profusion of vegetation, including roses, daffodils, and fruit trees in abundance. As the Mughal Empire declined, the tending of the garden declined as well. When the British took over management of the Taj Mahal, they changed the landscaping to resemble the formal lawns of London. The Taj Mahal complex is bounded by a crenellated red sandstone wall on three sides. The river-facing side is unwalled. Outside the wall are several additional mausoleums, including those of many of Shah Jahan's other wives, and a larger tomb for Mumtaz's favorite servant. These structures, composed primarily of red sandstone, are typical of smaller Mughal tombs of the era. On the inner (garden) side, the wall is fronted by columned arcades, a feature typical of Hindu temples later incorporated into Mughal mosques. The wall is interspersed with domed kiosks (chattris), and small buildings which may have been viewing areas or watch towers, such as the so-called Music House, now used as a museum. The main gateway (darwaza) is a monumental structure built primarily of marble. The style is reminiscent of that of Mughal architecture of earlier emperors. Its archways mirror the shape of the tomb's archways, and its pishtaq arches incorporate the calligraphy that decorates the tomb. It utilises bas-relief and pietra dura (inlaid) decorations with floral motifs. The vaulted ceilings and walls have elaborate geometric designs, like those found in the other sandstone buildings of the complex. At the far end of the complex, two grand red sandstone buildings open to the sides of the tomb. Their backs parallel the western and eastern walls. The two buildings are precise mirror images of each other. The western building is a mosque; its opposite is the jawab (answer) whose primary purpose was architectural balance (and which may have been used as a guesthouse during Mughal times). The distinctions are that the jawab lacks a mihrab, a niche in a mosque's wall facing Mecca, and the floors of the jawab have a geometric design, while the mosque floor was laid out with the outlines of 569 prayer rugs in black marble. The mosque's basic design is similar to others built by Shah Jahan, particularly to his Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, or Jama Masjid of Delhi — a long hall surmounted by three domes. Mughal mosques of this period divide the sanctuary hall into three areas: a main sanctuary with slightly smaller sanctuaries to either side. At the Taj Mahal, each sanctuary opens onto an enormous vaulting dome. The outlying buildings were completed in 1643. The focus of the Taj Mahal is the white marble tomb. Like most Mughal tombs, the basic elements are Persian in origin consisting of a symmetrical building with an iwan, an arch-shaped doorway, topped by a large dome. The tomb stands on a square plinth. The base structure is a large, multi-chambered structure. The main chamber houses the cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan with the actual graves located a level below. The base is essentially a cube with chamfered edges, roughly 55 meters on each side (see floor plan, right). On the long sides, a massive pishtaq, or vaulted archway, frames the iwan, with a similar arch-shaped balcony above. These main arches extend above the roof of the building by use of an integrated facade. On either side of the main arch, additional pishtaqs are stacked above and below. This motif of stacked pishtaqs is replicated on the chamfered corner areas. The design is completely symmetrical on all sides of the building. Four minarets, one at each corner of the plinth, facing the chamfered corners, frame the tomb. The marble dome that surmounts the tomb is its most spectacular feature. Its height is about the same size as the base of the building, about 35 meters. Its height is accentuated because it sits on a cylindrical "drum" about 7 meters high. Because of its shape, the dome is often called an onion dome (also called an amrud or guava dome). The top of the dome is decorated with a lotus design, which serves to accentuate its height. The dome is topped by a gilded finial, which mixes traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements. The dome shape is emphasised by four smaller domed chattris (kiosks) placed at its corners. The chattri domes replicate the onion shape of main dome. Their columned bases open through the roof of the tomb, and provide light to the interior. The chattris also are topped by gilded finials. Tall decorative spires (guldastas) extend from the edges of the base walls, and provide visual emphasis of the dome height. The lotus motif is repeated on both the chattris and guldastas The main dome is crowned by a gilded spire or finial. The finial was made of gold until the early 1800s, and it is now made of bronze. The finial provides a clear example of the integration of traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements. The finial is topped by a moon, a typical Islamic motif, whose horns point heavenward. Because of its placement on the main spire, the horns of the moon and the finial point combine to create a trident shape — reminiscent of the traditional Hindu symbols of Shiva At the corners of the plinth stand minarets — four large towers each more than 40 meters tall. The minarets again display the Taj Mahal's penchant for symmetry. The towers are designed as working minarets, a traditional element of mosques, a place for a muezzin to call the Islamic faithful to prayer. Each minaret is effectively divided into three equal parts by two working balconies that ring the tower. At the top of the tower is a final balcony surmounted by a chattri that mirrors the design of those on the tomb. The minaret chattris share the same finishing touches: a lotus design topped by a gilded finial. Each of the minarets was constructed slightly out of plumb to the outside of the plinth, so that in the event of collapse (a typical occurrence with many such tall constructions of the period) the material would tend to fall away from the tomb. Exterior decoration Calligraphy on large pishtaqNearly every surface of the entire complex has been decorated. The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest to be found in Mughal architecture of any period. Once again, decoration motifs are repeated throughout the complex. As the surface area changes — a large pishtaq has more area than a smaller — the decorations are refined proportionally. The decorative elements come in basically three categories: Calligraphy Abstract geometric elements Vegetative motifs Islamic strictures forbade the use of anthropomorphic forms. The decorative elements were created in three ways: Paint or stucco applied to the wall surface Stone inlay Carvings Calligraphy HerringboneThroughout the complex, passages from the Qur'an are used as decorative elements. The calligraphy is a florid and practically illegible thuluth script, created by the resident Mughal court's Persian calligrapher, Amanat Khan who signed several of the panels. As one enters through the Taj Mahal Gate, the calligraphy reads "O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you." The calligraphy is made by jasper inlaid in white marble panels. Some of the work is extremely detailed and delicate, especially that found on the marble cenotaphs in the tomb. Higher panels are written slightly larger to reduce the skewing effect when viewed from below. Recent scholarship suggests that Amanat Khan chose the passages as well. The texts refer to themes of judgment: of doom for nonbelievers, and the promise of Paradise for the faithful. The passages include: Surah 91 (The Sun), Surah 112 (The Purity of Faith), Surah 89 (Daybreak), Surah 93 (Morning Light), Surah 95 (The Fig), Surah 94 (The Solace), Surah 36 (Ya Sin), Surah 81 (The Folding Up), Surah 82 (The Cleaving Asunder), Surah 84 (The Rending Asunder), Surah 98 (The Evidence), Surah 67 (Dominion), Surah 48 (Victory), Surah 77 (Those Sent Forth) and Surah 39 (The Crowds). Abstract forms are used especially in the plinth, minarets, gateway, mosque, and jawab, and, to a lesser extent, on the surfaces of the tomb. The domes and vaults of the sandstone buildings are worked with tracery of incised painting to create elaborate geometric forms. (The incised painting technique is to scratch a channel in the stone, and to then lay a thick paint or stucco plaster across the surface. The paint is then scraped off the surface of the stone, leaving paint in the incision.) On most joining areas, herringbone inlays define the space between adjoining elements. White inlays are used in the sandstone buildings, dark or black inlays on the white marble of the tomb and minarets. Mortared areas of the marble buildings have been stained or painted dark, creating geometric patterns of considerable complexity. Floors and walkways throughout use contrasting tiles or blocks in tessellation patterns. The lower walls of the tomb are white marble dados that have been sculpted with realistic bas relief depictions of flowers and vines. The marble has been polished to emphasise the exquisite detailing of these carvings. The dado frames and archway spandrels have been decorated with pietra dura inlays of highly stylised, almost geometric vines, flowers and fruits. The inlay stones are yellow marble, jasper and jade, leveled and polished to the surface of the walls. The interior chamber of the Taj Mahal steps far beyond traditional decorative elements. One may say without exaggeration that this chamber is a work of jewellery. Here the inlay work is not pietra dura, but lapidary. The inlay material is not marble or jade but precious and semiprecious gemstones. Every decorative element of the tomb's exterior has been redefined with jeweler's art The inner chamber of the Taj Mahal contains the cenotaphs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan. It is a masterpiece of artistic craftsmanship, virtually without precedent or equal. The inner chamber is an octagon. While the design allows for entry from each face, only the south (garden facing) door is used. The interior walls are about 25 meters high, topped by a "false" interior dome decorated with a sun motif. Eight pishtaq arches define the space at ground level. As is typical with the exterior, each lower pishtaq is crowned by a second pishtaq about midway up the wall. The four central upper arches form balconies or viewing areas; each balcony's exterior window has an intricate screen or jali cut from marble. In addition to the light from the balcony screens, light enters through roof openings covered by the chattris at the corners of the exterior dome. Each of the chamber walls has been highly decorated with dado bas relief, intricate lapidary inlay and refined calligraphy panels, reflecting in miniature detail the design elements seen throughout the exterior of the complex. The octagonal marble screen or jali which borders the cenotaphs is made from eight marble panels. Each panel has been carved through with intricate piercework. The remaining surfaces have been inlaid with semiprecious stones in extremely delicate detail, forming twining vines, fruits and flowers. Mumtaz Mahal's cenotaph is placed at the precise center of the inner chamber. On a rectangular marble base about 1.5 meters by 2.5 meters is a smaller marble casket. Both base and casket are elaborately inlaid with precious and semiprecious gems. Calligraphic inscriptions on the casket identify and praise Mumtaz. On the lid of the casket is a raised rectangular lozenge meant to suggest a writing tablet. Muslim tradition forbids elaborate decoration of graves, so the bodies of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan are laid in a relatively plain crypt beneath the inner chamber of the Taj Mahal. They are buried on a north-south axis, with faces turned right (west toward Mecca). Shah Jahan's cenotaph is beside Mumtaz's to the western side. It is the only visible asymmetric element in the entire complex (see below). His cenotaph is bigger than his wife's, but reflects the same elements: A larger casket on slightly taller base, again decorated with astonishing precision with lapidary and calligraphy which identifies Shah Jahan. On the lid of this casket is a sculpture of a small pen box. (The pen box and writing tablet were traditional Mughal funerary icons decorating men's and women's caskets respectively.) "O Noble, O Magnificent, O Majestic, O Unique, O Eternal, O Glorious... " These are six of the Ninety Nine Names of God, which are to be found as calligraphic inscriptions on the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, in the crypt. The tomb of Shah Jahan bears a calligraphic inscription, not taken from the Qur'an, but referring to the resting place of this Mughal Emperor. Part of the inscription reads; "He traveled from this world to the banquet-hall of Eternity on the night of the twenty-sixth of the month of Rajab, in the year 1076 Hijri." The Taj Mahal was built on a parcel of land to the south of the walled city of Agra which had belonged to Maharajah Jai Singh: Shah Jahan presented him with a large palace in the centre of Agra in exchange.[9] Construction began with setting the foundations for the tomb. An area of roughly three acres was excavated and filled with dirt to reduce seepage from the river. The entire site was leveled to a fixed height about 50 meters above the riverbank. The Taj Mahal is 55 meters tall. The dome itself measures 18 meters in diameter and 24 meters high. In the tomb area, wells were then dug to the point that water was encountered. These wells were later filled with stone and rubble, forming the basis for the footings of the tomb. [An additional well was built to same depth nearby to provide a visual method to track water level changes over time.] Instead of lashed bamboo, the typical scaffolding method, workmen constructed a colossal brick scaffold that mirrored the inner and outer surfaces of the tomb. The scaffold was so enormous that foremen estimated it would take years to dismantle. According to legend, Shah Jahan decreed that anyone could keep bricks taken from the scaffold, and it was dismantled by peasants overnight. A fifteen-kilometer tamped-earth ramp was built to transport marble and materials to the construction site. According to contemporary accounts teams of twenty or thirty oxen strained to pull the blocks on specially constructed wagons. To raise the blocks into position required an elaborate post-and-beam pulley system. Teams of mules and oxen provided the lifting power. The order of construction was The plinth The tomb The four minarets The mosque and jawab The gateway The plinth and tomb took roughly 12 years to complete. The remaining parts of the complex took an additional 10 years. (Since the complex was built in stages, contemporary historical accounts list different "completion dates"; discrepancies between so-called completion dates are probably the result of differing opinions about the definition of "completion". For example, the mausoleum itself was essentially complete by 1643, but work continued on the rest of the complex.) Water for the Taj Mahal was provided through a complex infrastructure. Water was drawn from the river by a series of purs -- an animal-powered rope and bucket mechanism. The water flowed into a large storage tank, where, by thirteen additional purs, it was raised to large distribution tank above the Taj Mahal ground level. From this distribution tank, water passed into three subsidiary tanks, from which it was piped to the complex. A 0.25 meter earthenware pipe lies about 1.5 meters below the surface, in line with the main walkway; this filled the main pools of the complex. Additional copper pipes supplied the fountains in the north-south canal. Subsidiary channels were dug to irrigate the entire garden. The fountain pipes were not connected directly to the feed pipes. Instead, a copper pot was provided under each fountain pipe: water filled the pots allowing equal pressure in each fountain. The purs no longer remain, but the other parts of the infrastructure have survived. The Taj Mahal was not designed by a single person. The project demanded talent from many people. The names of many of the builders who participated in the construction of the Taj Mahal in different capacities have come down through various sources. The Persian or Turkish architect, Ustad Isa and Isa Muhammad Effendi, trained by the Ottoman architect Koca Mimar Sinan Agha are frequently credited with a key role in the architectural design of the complex,[10][11] but in fact there is little evidence to support this tradition. 'Puru' from Benarus, Persia (Iran), has been mentioned supervising architect in Persian language texts (e.g. see ISBN 964-7483-39-2). The main dome was designed by Ismail Khan from the Ottoman Empire,[12] considered to be the premier designer of hemispheres and builder of domes of that age. Qazim Khan, a native of Lahore, cast the solid gold finial that crowned the Turkish master's dome. Chiranjilal, a lapidary from Delhi, was chosen as the chief sculptor and mosaicist. Amanat Khan from Persian Shiraz, Iran was the chief calligrapher (this fact is attested on the Taj Mahal gateway itself, where his name has been inscribed at the end of the inscription). Muhammad Hanif was the supervisor of masons. Mir Abdul Karim and Mukkarimat Khan of Shiraz, Iran handled finances and the management of daily production. The creative team included sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlayers from southern India, stonecutters from Baluchistan, a specialist in building turrets, another who carved only marble flowers — thirty-seven men in all formed the creative nucleus. To this core was added a labour force of twenty thousand workers recruited from across northern India. Particularly during the the British Raj, some commentators suggested that the Taj Mahal was the work of European artisans. As early as 1640, a Spanish friar who visited Agra wrote that Geronimo Veroneo, an Italian adventurer in Shah Jahan's court, was primarily responsible for the design. There is no reliable evidence to back up such assertions. E.B. Havell, the principal British scholar of Indian art in the later Raj, dismissed this theory as inconsistent with the methods employed by the designers. His conclusions were further supported by the research of Muhammad Abdullah Chaghtai, who concluded that some of these theories may have been based on the misapprehension that "Ustad Isa", so often credited with the Taj's design, must have been a Christian because he bore the name "Isa" (Jesus). In fact this is a common Muslim name as well. Furthermore there is no source earlier than the 19th century which mentions an "Ustad Isa" in connection with the Taj Mahal . Chaghtai thought it more likely that the chief architect was Ustad Ahmad, the designer of Shahjahanabad, but admitted that this could not be conclusively proved from existing sources The Taj Mahal was constructed using materials from all over India and Asia. Over 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials during the construction. The translucent white marble was brought from Rajasthan, the jasper from Punjab, jade and crystal from China. The turquoise was from Tibet and the Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, while the sapphire came from Sri Lanka and the carnelian from Arabia. In all, twenty eight types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble. Estimates of the cost of the construction of the Taj Mahal vary due to the difficulties of estimating construction costs across time. The total cost of the Taj Mahal's construction has been estimated to be about 32 million rupees. [14] However, when considering the labor costs and the time period that it took, and the difference in economic eras, it is, to many, considered pricelessSoon after the Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was deposed and put under house arrest at nearby Agra Fort by his son Aurangzeb. Legend has it that he spent the remainder of his days gazing through the window at the Taj Mahal. Upon Shah Jahan's death, Aurangzeb buried him in the Taj Mahal next to his wife, the only disruption of the otherwise perfect symmetry in the architecture. By the late 19th century parts of the Taj Mahal had fallen badly into disrepair. During the time of the Indian rebellion of 1857 the Taj Mahal faced defacement by British soldiers and government officials who chiseled out precious stones and lapis lazuli from its walls. At the end of the 19th century British viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a massive restoration project, completed in 1908. He also commissioned the large lamp in the interior chamber (modelled on one hanging in a Cairo mosque when local craftsmen failed to provide adequate designs). It was during this time the garden was remodelled with the more British looking lawns visible today. By the 20th century the Taj Mahal was being better taken care of. In 1942 the government erected a scaffolding over it in anticipation of an air attack by the German Luftwaffe and later by the Japanese Air Force (see photo). During the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971 scaffoldings were erected by the government to mislead would-be bomber pilots. Its most recent threats came from environmental pollution on the banks of the Yamuna River including acid rain occurring due to the Mathura oil refinery (something opposed by Supreme Court of India directives). As of 1983 the Taj Mahal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Today it is a major tourist destination. Recently the Taj Mahal was claimed to be Sunni Wakf property, on the grounds that it is the grave of a woman whose husband Emperor Shah Jahan was a Sunni. The Indian government has dismissed claims by the Muslim trust to administer the property, saying their claims are baseless and the Taj Mahal is Indian national property. The poet Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel laureate, called the Taj Mahal "a teardrop on the cheek of time". The Taj Mahal is often described as one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Millions of tourists have visited the site - more than three million in 2004, according to the BBC - making it one of the most popular international attractions in India. The Taj Mahal is open to vistors 7 am to 7 pm every day except Fridays. According to, The Taj Mahal is now in the official list of 7 wonders of the world. This worldwide declaration was held in Lisbon, Portugal on July 7, 2007. The contest was held through voting system via email, sms and phone. The contest received a total number of 100 million votes. It is clear from the accounts of its inception and the subsequent court histories, that Shah Jahan intended the Taj Mahal to be acclaimed by the entire world. It can be argued that he was almost entirely successful in this pursuit. Since its construction the building has been the source of an admiration that has transcended cultures and geography to the extent that the personal and emotional responses to the building have consistently eclipsed the scholastic appraisals of the monument. Some of these responses are now so old or compeling that they are often repeated as fact in opposition to the scholastic consensus. Others have attempted to use or promote misinformation about the Taj for political or self-serving advantage.[15] A longstanding myth holds that Shah Jahan planned a duplicate mausoleum to be built in black marble across the Jumna river.[16] The 'black taj' idea originates in the fanciful writings of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a European traveller who visited Agra in 1665. The story suggests that Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb before the black version could be built. Ruins of blackened marble across the river, in the so-called Moonlight Garden (Mahtab Bagh) seemed to support this legend. However, excavations carried out in the 1990s found only white marble features discoloured completely to black. The garden buildings had collapsed due to repeated flooding. Others speculate that the 'black taj' may refer to the reflection of the Taj in the large pool of the moonlight garden. [17] Numerous stories describe — often in horrific detail — the deaths, dismemberments and mutilations which Shah Jahan inflicted on various architects and craftsmen associated with the tomb. No evidence for these claims exists.[18] Lord William Bentinck, governor of India in the 1830s, supposedly planned to demolish the Taj Mahal and auction off the marble. There is no contemporary evidence for this story, which may have emerged in the late nineteenth century when Bentinck was being criticised for his penny-pinching Utilitarianism, and when Lord Curzon was emphasising earlier neglect of the monument. Bentinck's biographer John Rosselli says that the story arose from Bentinck's fund-raising sale of discarded marble from Agra Fort.[19] In recent years, elements within India have become interested in the ideas of P.N. Oak. He claims that the origins of the Taj, together with all the other historic structures in the country currently ascribed to Muslim sultans, pre-date the Muslim occupation of India and have a Hindu origin. He imposes that widespread use of lotuses and swastikas in the Taj architecture, symbolises Hindu relations. Also evidences from English visitors to court like John Hawkins that Taj Mahal was an important monument even before it started building and others has led to widespread belief. [20] In 2000 India's Supreme Court dismissed Oak's petition to declare that a Hindu king built the Taj Mahal and reprimanded him for bringing the action.[21][18] A more poetic story relates that once a year, during the rainy season, a single drop of water falls on the cenotaph. The story recalls Rabindranath Tagore's description of the tomb as "one solitary tear hanging on the cheek of time". Another myth suggests that beating the silhouette of the finial (set into the paving of the riverside forecourt) will cause water to come forth. To this day officials find broken bangles surrounding the silhouette."
promomows :
"the band? they are talented, but i've never gotten into that exact type of music. the compositions are fine, and the jazz/orchestral fusions are good if you like that sort of thing. it's too far away from the mainstream to suit me as a DJ."
Saurabh Pandit :


Laura D :
"wth is the question?"
Jeana :
"Rules of life:belive almost nothing you hear And believe nothing you see."
tabulator32 :
"nope. didn't do a thing for me. maybe if you just summarized it for us."
Just_A_Boy :
Eccentric :
"why dont u destroy the Taj Mahal then like u did Babri mosque? just go and destroy who is stopping u? instead of writing just questiuon on yahoo why not get some courge and become a sucide bomb attacker and destroy Taj Mahal. we are waiting..................."
Ali t :
"Since i don't know about this new theory i will take time and go through those articles..."
elmjunburke :
"Because somebody posts some stupid link , is far from "proof". I suppose you read Harry Potter and use it as proof that you can magic wand anything and everything ."
ranthonypd :
"Huh?! Open a history book and read the real thing... I know it. I have been there... Something no one should miss if have the chance to see it, specially now that it was named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World..."


Comments on Taj Mahal

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Date: 2008-02-05 21:15:57

The taj has been given various perspectives when it comes to the idea behind it. this is my view

Date: 2008-02-05 21:15:57

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Date: 2008-02-05 21:15:57

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Taj Mahal (musician) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Explore the Taj Mahal virtual tour - "5-STARS!" -SundayTimes_London
WOW!...Thrilling...Exotic...Ravishing! " says The SundayTimes, London -- 360° panoramas, mini-movies, narration, music, School Resources and more. One of the New 7 Wonders of the ...
Explore the Taj Mahal virtual tour - "5-STARS!" -SundayTimes_London