Taj Mahal

It’s nearly difficult for first-time tourists to India to bypass the must-see Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal, India’s most famous structure, is a beautiful temple to eternal love. The Taj Mahal, built between 1632 and 1647 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, was dedicated to Jahan’s favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during delivery. Despite its legendary position, much of its history is shrouded in obscurity. Here are a few facts about the marble-clad wonder that you may not have known.
Optical illusions may be seen all over the place
The Taj Mahal’s architects and artisans were masters of proportions and optical illusions. When approaching the main gate that frames the Taj, for example, the monument seems extraordinarily close and huge. However, as you come closer, it reduces in size, which is the polar opposite of what you’d anticipate. And, while the minarets around the tomb appear to be perfectly erect, the towers really lean outward, which serves both form and function: in addition to giving visual balance, the pillars would disintegrate away from the main crypt in the event of a tragedy such as an earthquake.
The most well-known myth is almost certainly incorrect
According to mythology, Shah Jahan wished for the tomb to be an outstanding masterpiece without rival. Shah Jahan allegedly chopped the hands and gouged the eyes of the artists and craftsmen to guarantee no one could reproduce the Taj Mahal’s splendour. Despite its ubiquity, historians have discovered little evidence to substantiate the story—though it does add to the drama of the romantic tragedy.
Both cenotaphs are unoccupied.
The cenotaphs honouring Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are contained in an eight-sided chamber adorned with pietra dura (semi-precious stone inlay) and a marble lattice screen. The beautiful monuments, however, are only for show: the true sarcophagi are in a peaceful chamber below, at garden level.
It is (almost) completely symmetrical.
The Taj Mahal is the pinnacle of Mughal architecture, built with perfect symmetry in accordance with the period’s stylistic philosophies. The domed mausoleum is flanked by minarets, and a centre pool mirrors the main structure. The grounds, which are an earthly image of heaven, are separated into quadrants, and the tomb complex is balanced by twin red sandstone structures (an east-facing mosque and a west-facing guesthouse). However, there is one exception. The cenotaph of Shah Jahan is oddly positioned west of the centre axis, throwing the balance off. Many others feel he was never supposed to be buried there in the first place because of the unusual positioning.
The Taj undergoes frequent facials.
The Taj Mahal’s brilliant white marble façade has taken a beating from age and pollution, becoming brownish-yellow in the sooty surroundings. The monument gets a spa day every now and again. Specifically, multiani mitti, a mudpack facial. The Taj’s imperfections erase and its glow returns after this ancient remedy used by Indian ladies to restore brightness is applied and then wiped off with brushes.
Throughout the day, it changes colour.
One of the Taj Mahal’s allures is its ever-changing colour. The sun alters the tomb from dawn to dark. At daybreak, it may seem pearly grey and pastel pink, dazzling white at high midday, and orange-bronze as the sun sets. The Taj can seem transparent blue in the nights. Separate tickets for full moon and solar eclipse are available.
A second Taj Mahal made of black marble was in the works.
Remember Shah Jahan’s cenotaph’s untidy placement? According to legend, Shah Jahan intended to build a shadow image across the Yamuna River—an identical but opposite Taj Mahal carved from black marble—where he would be entombed. Construction was claimed to have stopped after Shah Jahan was ousted by his son (ironically, a child of Mumtaz Mahal) and imprisoned at the adjacent Agra Fort. This account has also been rejected as folklore by other scholars.
It was both a sign of power and a symbol of love.
According to accounts, Shah Jahan was more cruel than romantic as a ruler. The Taj, with all its connections with devotion and ardour, was also a source of propaganda. The ordered symmetry of the complex represents ultimate power—the pinnacle of Mughal rule. And its vast size and richness (crystal, lapis lazuli, makrana marble, turquoise) further added to Shah Jahan’s reign’s renown.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back To Top