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AUSTRALIAN WOMENS TRAVEL

             Small Group Tours: Travel for Women

About the Taj Mahal

 THE TAJ MAHAL

The construction of this marble masterpiece is credited to the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan who erected this mausoleum in memory of his beloved wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal, who died in A.D. 1630.

 

Her last wish to her husband was "to build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before". Thus Emperor Shah Jahan set about building this fairy-tale like marvel.

 

The construction of Taj Mahal was started in A.D. 1632 and completed at the end of 1648 A.D. For seventeen years, twenty thousand workmen are said to be employed on it daily, for their accommodation a small town, named after the deceased empress-'Mumtazabad, now known as Taj Ganj, was built adjacent to it.


Sheer poetry in marble. Majesty and magnificence, unrivalled, the Taj Mahal is the only one of its kind across the world.

Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon.

On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna River.


Shah Jahan had begun his reign by killing his brothers; but he had neglected to kill his sons, one of who was destined to overthrow him. In 1657 his son.

 

Aurangzeb led an insurrection from the Deccan. Aurangzeb defeated all the forces sent against him, captured his father, and imprisoned him in the Fort of Agra. For 9 bitter years the deposed emperor lingered there, never visited by his son, attended only by his faithful daughter Jahanara, and spending his days looking from the Jasmine Tower of his prison across the Jumuna to where his once-beloved Mumtaz lay in her jewelled tomb.

 

Taj Mahal (meaning Crown Palace) is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. In the tradition of the Mughals, important ladies of the royal family were given another name at their marriage or at some other significant event in their lives, and the public commonly used that new name. Shah Jahan's real name was Shahab

-ud-din, and he was known as Prince Khurram before ascending to the throne in 1628.


The Taj stands on a raised, square platform (186 x 186 feet) with its four corners truncated, forming an unequal octagon. The architectural design uses the interlocking arabesque concept, in which each element stands on its own and perfectly integrates with the main structure. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and symmetry of architectural elements.


The mausoleum is a part of a vast complex comprising of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque (to the left), a guest house (to the right), and several other palatial buildings. The Taj is at the farthest end of this complex, with the river Jamuna behind it.

The large garden contains four reflecting pools dividing it at the centre. Each of these four sections is further subdivided into four sections and then each into yet another four sections.

Like the Taj, the garden elements serve like Arabesque, standing on their own and also constituting the whole.

MARY HAMILTON-SMITH :AUSTRALIAN WOMENS TRAVEL


Call: 0405 228 560

Email: australianwomenstravel@bigpond.com

 

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