The world’s most beautiful mausoleum is Taj Mahal of India, the resting place of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s most beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. This beautiful ivory-marble structure is constructed on the south banks of Yamuna River in the city of Agra. The 42 acre Taj Mahal is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall and the tomb at the center, it also has a mosque and a guest house.
Original Resting Place
Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth to her thirteenth child in Burhanpur, near Tapti River, and that is her original resting place. Her body was disinterred from Burhanpur and taken to a small building near river Yamuna in a golden casket by her son. The Taj Mahal took more than 22 years to build and now is the final place of resting for the king and queen both.
Construction of the Wonder
Approximately, 28 different types of precious and semi-precious stones are inlaid in the white marbles of Taj Mahal. More than 20,000 artisans worked under the leadership of Ustad Ahmad Lauhri to complete this UNESCO heritage site. Taj Mahal was the dream of Shah Jahan.
Shah Jahan dreamed heaven for his beloved soul-mate and Taj Mahal with its pure white marbles and beautiful calligraphy and breathtaking design from religious scriptures gave form to his vision. The Taj Mahal’s walls have 99 names of Allah on its walls and the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal also have praises written on her praise in beautiful calligraphy.
The Various Colors of the Taj Mahal
Shah Jahan made sure that the best elements were used for the Taj Mahal, the semi-transparent ivory marbles were brought in from Rajasthan. They are reflective and hence changes color with the changing position of sun and moon. It was believed that the color changes of Taj Mahal were analogous to the changing mood of Mumtaz Mahal.
The Taj Mahal, is also an architectural genius, one of the world’s most symmetric building. The dome is 35 meters high and in the shape of the onions and the four sides of the structure are identical to each other making perfect mirror images of each other. The four minarets are built outside the main structure so as to keep the Taj Mahal safe even if the minaret fall.
Myths or Realities
It is said that the craftsmen of Taj Mahal were rewarded with their thumbs cut-off by the emperor so that no one could replicate the beauty of Taj Mahal. It is also said Shah Jahan planned to build a black Taj Mahal for himself but was not able to fulfil his dream. These are few of many sayings about the Taj Mahal but do not have solid evidence to prove them.