Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the wonders of the world.
The architecture of the Taj Mahal has been praised by historians,
architects, poets and travelers from all over the world. Built
of white marble brought from Makrana in Rajasthan, the Taj
Mahal appears different at different times of day and during
the changing seasons. The color of the sky is reflected by
the white marble, and the rays of the sun give it an almost
ethereal appearance. The sight of the Taj Mahal on a full
moon night is an enchanting experience. When seen from Agra
Fort across the Yamuna River on a foggy morning, the Taj Mahal
appears like a fairytale castle floating on a soft carpet
The Taj Mahal was built between the years 1631 A.D. and 1648
A.D. A colony of 20,000 workers lived near the site in the
area now called Tajgunj, and worked on constructing this Mughal
monument in Agra. The workers were lead by the superintendent
of masons Muhammed Hanif. The design was by the Persian architect
Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. The dome was constructed by Ismail Khan
Afridi of Turkey. The poet Ghiyasuddin composed the verses
that appear on the tombstones of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan
and the calligraphy was designed by Amanat Khan Shirazi, whose
name can be seen on one of the gates of the Taj Mahal Agra
India. The architecture of the Taj Mahal owes its perfection
to the work of many great craftsmen.
The Taj Mahal is part of a complex of structures. These structures
include the Darwaza or main gateway, the Bageecha or garden,
the Masjid or mosque, the Naqqar Khaana or guest house and
the Rauza or mausoleum.
The entrance to the complex is through
the grand gateway. The gateway is inscribed with Islamic calligraphy
and floral decorations. As you enter the gateway, its high
arch frames the vista before you. A path with green lawns
on either side leads to the raised platform on which the Taj
Mahal is situated. The approach to the Taj Mahal, with intersecting
paths and waterways is called the Charbagh.
The Taj Mahal is situated on a raised platform that is over
6 meters high. The actual tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal
are in the basement below this platform. The main building
surmounted by a curving dome is over 60 meters long on each
side. The dome rises to a height of over 60 meters at its
pinnacle. The platform covers an area of almost 94 sq meters.
A tall minaret of over 40 meters reaches up to the sky at
each corner of the platform. On either side of the Taj Mahal
there is a red sandstone building - a mosque to the west and
a guesthouse to the east. The fountains, waterways, formal
garden and the river Yamuna flowing in the background add
to the overall effect. The overall symmetry of the Taj Mahal
complex, makes it an aesthetically perfect sight.
The architecture of the Taj Mahal is enhanced by delicate
inlay work. The interiors of the Taj Mahal are decorated with
inlay work known as pietra dura. Semi precious stones such
as jasper, jade, turquise, lapis lazuli and sapphire, were
used in these decorative devices, many of which can still
be seen. These decorative elements include inscriptions from
the Quran, geometrical designs and graceful depictions of
flowers and plants. The inlay work has been carried out with
great skill, creating a seamless and smooth surface with no
visible joints. The pristine white marble of the Taj Mahal
contrasts with the colors of the inlaid stones creating a
beautiful and majestic effect.
The beautiful proportions of each element of the complete
complex, their exquisitely decorated interirors, the brilliance
of the carving in the latticed screens that surround the tomb
and the setting of the Taj Mahal add up to the sublime experience
that is a glimpse of the Taj Mahal. The architecture of the
Taj Mahal Agra, is considered the most spectacular example
of Mughal architecture in India.