Taj Mahal Palace, A history of love "Real"

Masterpiece of Mughal architecture, the Taj Mahal is considered to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Was raised in Agra, in the North of the India, at the initiative of the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Muntaz Mahal


This true story, dates from 1607, when a Prince of just 20 years of age, heir to the great Mongol Empire, meets a young persa-musulmana woman named Mumtaz Mahal who falls deeply.
It is she who turns 19 years into the new Princess and second wife of the Emperor, celebration that took place in the city of Agra, State of Uttar Pradesh, about 200 km. Southeast of Delhi, India.
He was a Prince heir of fifteen years, she a teenager of fourteen; Legend has it that the young woman selling trinkets when they saw each other for the first time. It was called Aijumad. She was beautiful, intelligent, and cultured, but the reasons of State interfered with the early passion: the Prince was forced to take to wife a Princess like him, daughter of the King of Persia. But the Muslim law came to his aid: allowing a man to have four wives.
By referring to the date with the Court astrologers, was the day of the marriage. Shah Jahan, It could finally reunited with his beloved in the year 1612, after five years unable to see it. Soon after, she would be renamed by another: Mumtaz Mahal, what means, literally, 'chosen Palace'. The happy union lasted nineteen years. In 1631, after 19 years of marriage and a great love life, Mumtaz died in Berhanpur, after giving birth to a girl, her son N ° 14. She was there with her husband in a campaign, which aimed to quell a rebellion.
The Emperor receives an order from his beloved wife before he died, where should comply with the following promises:
To build his tomb;
He married again;
To be good with children;
To visit his grave every year on the anniversary of his death.
The Emperor and loving husband was dying also. His sadness was so deep that it is imprisoned in their room eight days with their eight nights, without tasting food or drink. At the end of that time, pale and aged, came out and ordered the mourning across the Kingdom to be fulfilled. Forbade wear garments made of colors, play music, use perfumes and jewelry, and even prohibit the smile between the subjects.
Meanwhile, Jahan made an oath: Mahal would have the most beautiful tomb which the world had never seen testimony of his love and to the memory of his name would endure forever.
With the merger of the hindu tradition and the persa-musulmana shaping in white marble, was obtained as a result the construction of the Rauza, i.e. from the tomb of the "chosen from the Palace", at the request of Shah Jahan. This today, World Heritage site was located on the banks of the Yamuna River in 1631. Twenty thousand workers were employed for such construction and materials were transported from sow by elephants (1,000) since the distance was 300 kilometers. In 1653, ending with this great mausoleum of love.
This majestic tribute had his expensive side for Shah Jahan who lost her love lived for his wife. To the extent that this work was decorated on the inside and outside by precious stones from different spots, for example: from Baghdad, China, Afghanistan, Tibet, Egypt, Persia, Yemen, Russia and Ceylon, among others. This led to this emperor to fall strongly in economic ruin and consequently the loss of his throne. Because of the dispute of this last was unleashed a bloody war among the possible heirs. In response, when Shah Jahan feels very weakened, he decides to surrender, and his son Aurangzeb takes the throne, and allows you to stay alive in Exchange for becoming the strong of the Agra prisoner until the day of his death.
Finally, he dies in 1666, which is buried in the Taj with his beloved wife. However, history tells us that Shah Jahan had intended to build right in front of the Taj, a replica in black marble and connect both mausoleums by a distinguished bridge. However, today we can say that this monument, quintessence of Muslim art in the India is the gift of the emperor to all mankind.
Today, the great monument of love is one of the "seven wonders of the world". The name "Taj Mahal", is usually translated as "Palace of the Crown" or "Crown of the Palace", but historians say that his designation is just an abbreviation of the name of the chosen of the Palace, Mumtaz Mahal.
The pledge of love of an Emperor:
Agra, India, is the capital city of the great empire Mongol, created in 1526 and which lasts until 1857. Its founder was Babur , a descendant of Genghis Khan, of the Islamic religion and who does this after conquering the North of the India. From here all the emperors that happen you would spend much of his effort to build beautiful monuments and beautify the city.
In contrast to Christian architecture in the Islamic the distinction between civil and religious buildings in smaller accent. This Islamic architecture was that introduced in the subcontinent between the 11th and 12th centuries, which had a continuous Persian tradition. Geometry, symmetry and balance are basic features of it and each isolated element is inserted within a unifying framework of complex geometric decoration. Thus, denoting the intention of pointing the domain in the Koranic faith. Therefore, prayer is the axis that configures the construction, where all those are oriented towards the Holy City, i.e. towards Mecca.
The construction of the majestic palaces was characteristic of every Mughal Emperor, who transformed it into its grave and that of his wives after his death custom emblematic of this empire. Each of them was built in marble, with large gardens as inputs to it. But no doubt the Taj Mahal, it is the most symbolic of all of them. It is a monument of love it imagine that Shah Jahan as an offering to his most beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after his death (1631). This Mongolian sultan, was a lover of art and beauty. To the more works of art attributed to her, however all scholars agree that the great glory of the Taj Mahal lies in the careful symmetry with which its known elements have come together to form a set of particular harmony.

The building began to build toward 1632, according to the plans of a Council of architects from India, Persia and central Asia, although it appears that the true inspiration was the emperor himself. They worked on their preparation more than 20,000 workers; the works of the mausoleum completed in 1643 and ACE of the attached units in 1649. In total, the project took twenty-two years and cost forty million rupees. Will know the names of some of the teachers who participated in the company: the Turkish Ismail Afandi, which designed the domes;Qazim Khan, from Lahore; Chiranji Lal, Delhi, who commissioned mosaics; the Amir Ah cantero, of Baluchistan; Amanta Khan of Shiraz (Persia), great calligrapher. The master builder was the Turkish list Isa; Legend has it that, when the building was finished, Jehan ordered to cut his hand so that he could repeat one ' similar work. In the writings of a Portuguese missionary of the era seems to allude to the possible involvement of an Italian artist, Jerónimo Veroneo. Although he actually lived in Agra during those years, nothing seems to support this hypothesis seriously.

The entrance
The enclosure is flanked to the North and South by two smaller oblong sectors: in the southern stands a door of sandstone which gives entry to the complex and some auxiliary buildings of uncertain purpose; in the North, parallel to the YamunaRiver, stands the mausoleum. The Emperor agreed to place on the River, by boat, along with his entourage. Other visitors had to enter through a large courtyard on the South side, where gave alms to the poor and where, on each anniversary of the death of Muntaz, distributed huge sums of money among the underprivileged. In the Muslim world, these doors also had a strong symbolism, because they represented the entrance to paradise: from the metaphysical point of view, were considered the point of transition between the outside world of the senses and the inner world of the spirit.

The gardens
The complex, lined from North to South, has a rectangular floor of 580 m long by wide 305. In the middle ' rectangle sits a Square Garden of 300 m, whose main axis extends from South to North, from the door to the mausoleum. With an area of 6.9 hectares, was designed as a representation of the earthly paradise, in the style of Persian gardens introduced in the India by Babur, the first Mughal Emperor. Originally contained a multitude of flowers and exotic trees, all: them in geometric and perfectly symmetrical arrangement: gardeners worked effort to consciously translate celestial perfection to earthly terms, following a series of well-known formulas. Thus, the four, number sacred in e Islam, was the basis of all design.
Channels, symbol of the four rivers of Paradise (of which, according to tradition, flowed water, milk, wine and honey), with sources and flanked by cypress trees (which, besides giving shadow, emphasize the lines of perspective), intersect in the Center forming a pond of water lilies in white marble, somewhat elevated from the ground; symbol of alKawthar, the heavenly pond of wealth mentioned in the Quran, was conceived so that the mausoleum was reflected in its waters. Each of the four parts that make up the channels is divided into sixteen flower beds by stone pathways.
In Mughal architecture, water is used both for the rituals of ablution as to humidify and cool the atmosphere, one knew combination of religious meaning with the practical need. It was extracted from the river and was introduced into underground channels from which was derived to fill the ponds and irrigate you gardens.

Mosque and jawab
The actual mausoleum is flanked to the East and to the West by two identical symmetrical buildings, the mosque, to the West and to the East, the corresponding jawab , or "response". On the purpose of this second building, it has been assumed that it served as a hostel for pilgrims, meeting place of the faithful before the prayer; However, chances are that its ultimate purpose was purely architectural, to provide aesthetic balance to the whole and contribute to the symmetry of structures located on the platform.
A high wall with octagonal towers surrounds the northern section and the central garden; There are outside the South, stables and stays for the guards. On the Western side, near the mosque, a small enclosure of stone is placed to remember the first place where the remains of Muntaz Mahal were deposited.

The mausoleum
Mosque and jawab were made in red sandstone, which contrasts with the whiteness of the marble from Makrana the mausoleum, raised on a seven-metre high marble plinth. A stone slope protects the garden from the erosion of the river.
Square mausoleum has four identical facades, with tapered corners and an impressive Arch of 33 m high in each of them, framed calligraphy embossed belts. The craftsmen who traced these reliefs with verses of the Quran used a trick optical, namely to increase the size of the letters to increased distance, so that its dimensions appear identical.
The large vaulted niches are framed with floral (roses, daffodils, tulips), with inlays of semiprecious stones, mineral crystals, and lapis lazuli, as well as inscriptions in black stone. This same decoration continues inside in the Spandrels of the arches and vaults.
The beautiful bulbous dome above the central hall rises on a drum, surrounded by four octagonal towers, each surmounted by a small dome Pavilion. The interior structure has a height 24.4 m and she has another very stilted exterior dome who stylized profile of the building. The external finish consists of a brass of 17.1 m high needle.
Under the large dome is the octagonal room of the Tomb, with large niches and doors giving access to the other rooms, decorated with relieves of marble white, the same as the Cenotaph of Shah Jehan and Muntaz Mahal; the real sarcophagus occupy a crypt at garden level.
Along with the four octagonal towers, or chattri, also topped with small domes, four minarets, are arranged at the corners of the platform on. which rises throughout construction, completing the geometrical harmony of the whole. These minarets have a unique formal feature, to highlight the central composition with the dome.
The building material is brick lined plates of white marble, whose tone changes according to the light of day, creating a subtle variation that produces a sensation of peace of mind immaterial. Geometric and floral decoration, with inlays of lapis lazuli, coral, amber and jade, framed all the openings of the building and is completed with verses of the Quran embedded in black stone.
In addition to boosting the construction of the Taj Mahal, sultan Shah Jahan founded the city of Shajahanabad (old Delhi), expanding the Palace-Fortress (1639-48) which houses the Grand Mosque of La Perla (1646-54). The buildings erected under his reign give testament to the power and vitality of the Mongol dynasties.

Decline and restoration
Once finished, the Taj retained its splendour until the decline of the Mughal Empire during the 18th century, when all the monument fell into neglect. Under English occupation of India in the 19th century, the place was occasionally used for holidays in the open air, in which military bands filled with his music the night air from the terraces. It was on one of those occasions when the wife of an officer said, contemplating the Taj: 'I die tomorrow just to have another match on me.'
Other two Britons are often cited in relation to the Taj Mahal, for reasons good and bad. The first, lord William Bentinck, Governor-General of India (1828-1835), sought to dismember the Taj and set out its pieces to England for their auction. Fortunately, the Victorian public was as little interested in a public auction of marble from Agra Fort that the project was abandoned. On the other hand, lord Curzon, Viceroy of India (1898-1905) was a dedicated conservative who did much for the restoration of Indian cultural monuments, including the renovation of the Taj, so glory could be enjoyed both for posterity and by its creator.
The story of the Shah Jahan has a sad ending. His reign came to an end in 1658, when his scheming son Aurangzeb usurped the throne and confined to his father in Agra Fort. During his last years, until his death in 1666, the old emperor used to contemplate from the high walls of the Fort, on the other side of the river Yamuna, the silhouette of the Memorial of his wife. Finally, the Shah could meet with her, since it lies on its side under the great dome of marble.

It is one of the most beautiful monumental works of the land contains the enduring love of a man for a woman, his wife. It is a perfect jewel, an exquisite building. Its construction resulted in the man, the Muslim Emperor of the dynasty, Mughal, good part of his life, and the breath of love put into every stone, every door and every gem of the tomb of the beloved, we moved up to today.
Synthesis: in 1629, when the Princess died, still young, the Emperor wanted his remains rest, not in a common grave, but in a building that had the appearance of a Palace, a beauty not seen in the India. For twenty-two years, architects and decorators were devoted to the construction of this "dream of marble", as he has defined it.
The building is reachable passing a limpid pond and two rows of slender cypress trees, leading to the main entrance. In the background, on a high platform flanked by four graceful minarets, is the Taj Mahal stands. Your image is reflected in the water, and this gives it a great suggestive value.
It is a perfect work, not only from the scenic point of view. Observe well that mole: it is gigantic, powerful, but not produced, in any way, the impression of a "Colossus"; It is that its dimensions are exactly proportionate and have a wonderful harmony.
The building is octagonal, and perhaps we could appreciate it better watching it from above; but its perfect proportions are also manifested with only examine the facade. The central part is occupied by a rectangle, which encloses a wide arc. On this rectangle is clipped the profile of the dome higher, "bulb", characteristic of the Muslim architecture. The side wings are animated by a double series of small arches.
Note that two of these overlapping arches reach, the same height as the large. Two light domes contribute to increase the impression of balance. The set is very harmonious; It could be said that it has been calculated to the nearest millimetre.
He has said that the Taj Mahal is built by Titans and decorated by goldsmiths. Beautiful decoration and the cellars of semi-precious stones make it still more unreal and fabulous; It is the most suitable place for the long dream of a beautiful Princess.

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