Things to do / see in Taj Mahal , Agra, India

Architecture / construction / origin / inspiration / tomb / main entry / garden / plant motifs / incised paintings / reflective tiles / gems / materials / calligraphy / marble cupolas of Taj Mahal 

Erection of the Taj Mahal began in the same year and was accomplished after 22 years in 1653 at an expenditure of 32 Million Rupees. Twenty thousand workmen and master craftsmen from Persia, France, Iran, Italy and Turkey toiled on the building. Even though no one knows who designed the Taj, the name of a Persian architect, Ustad Isa, was involved in the construction of this marble monument.

Materials for instance red sandstone, silver and gold, carnelian and jasper, moonstone and jade, lapiz lazuli and coral were brought in from all over India and central Asia. The white Makrana marble from Jodhpur took a fleet of 1000 elephants for transportation. Precious stones for the engraving purpose came from Baghdad, Punjab, Egypt, Russia, China, Afghanistan, Ceylon and Persia.

The distinctive Mughal style of architecture in combination with elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture is reflected here. The Taj Mahal complex primarily comprises of the Darwaza or main gateway, the Bageecha or symmetrically designed garden, the Masjid or mosque, the Naqqar Khana or house for rest, and the Rauza or the Taj Mahal mausoleum. The actual Tomb is positioned within the Taj.

wallpaper taj mahal yamuna river
The main entry is from the west, but there are as well two other entrances from the east and from the south. The magnificent main gateway complete in 1648, is a huge three-floored red sandstone structure, 50ft wide and 100ft high with an octagonal central chamber along with a vaulted roof, with smaller rooms on every side. The gateway comprises of a lofty central arch with doubles storied wings on either side. On top of the central portal in the north and south side, there is a series of 11 attached chattiris (umbrellas) with marble cupolas, edged by pinnacles. The walls are inscribed with verses from the Quran in Arabic and are finished in black calligraphy. An excellent characteristic of the gateway is that the inscription appears to be the identical size from top to bottom. This was made by heightening the letters as the distance from the eye increased. The miniature domed pavilions on top are Hindu in style and looks majestic. The gate was initially lined with silver; at the moment replaced with copper and ornamented with 1,000 nails whose heads were contemporary silver coins.

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