Christian Monk 113082846 April-16-2016 India and the Taj Mahal Essay #3 The Art and History Behind the Taj Mahal Give a historical and artistic overview of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, using your textbook and three additional online sources to discuss this important architectural complex. The Taj Mahal (also known as the “Shrine of Love” and the “The Jewel of Muslim Art in India”) is a very expansive tomb located in Agra India (previously the Mughal Empire) on the Yamuna River. Though India is the birthplace of Buddhism and Hinduism, “monumental tombs were not part of either the Hindu or Buddhist traditions” instead such grand burial chambers “had a long history in Islamic architecture” (Gardener). The Taj Mahal was built by ruler of the
The Taj Mahal was a tremendous achievement by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. It was made in the heart and capital of the Mughal empire, Agra. Shah Jahan was the fifth Mughal emperor. He formed this tomb as a burial place and as a monument of remembrance for his lost love, his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Known as the “Jewel of India”, it acts as a symbol of his love for his wife.
The white and shining mausoleum to be more solemn, dignified and elegant reflected by lawns under the clear sky. Even though it is a mausoleum, it does not make people feel quiet and lonely like other mausoleums because there are many people coming and going there. Taj Mahal is not only popular with tourists around the world, in some degree, but is also loved by local people in India. If you visit Taj Mahal during different time periods of a day, you will see different scenery. Taj Mahal has different characteristics in different time of day under different natural lights.
In a Charbagh layout, the grounds must also be divided into four smaller sections by axial paths intersecting at the garden’s midpoint (Ruggles 39); in Shalimar, these paths are comprised of four main channels flowing water derived from the main canals, meeting at a large pool in the park’s centre. This decidedly structured geometric layout was “a powerful metaphor for the organization and domestication of the landscape, itself a symbol of political territory” (Ruggles 39) – the Mughal regime was in this way asserting their dominance over their conquered territory in South Asia. It is important to note that design elements of the conquered are also incorporated – decorative pavilions typical of South Asia mark the cardinal points along the garden’s
The Mughals who ruled India from 1526-1858, emerged as great patrons of architecture. Mughal architectural is a great historical source as it reflects on imperial ideology of the time. The Mughals drew upon various architectural traditions- indigenous Indian traditions, Indo Islamic architecture form the Sultanate period, Persian traditions, European traditions and introduced their own Timurid traditions of Central Asia. Right from Babur to Aurangzeb, architecture was used to assert power and seek legitimacy by the Mughals. Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire, coming from the lush lands of Ferghana and being constantly on the move in India, mainly laid out gardens in Hindustan instead of large buildings.
The Mughal Empire had different origins compared to the Ottoman Empire, especially when it comes to the influence for their creation. The Mughal Empire had no religious motivations when it came to establishing and expanding the empire. Babur only wanted to win back Ferghana, the city he had inherited at twelve years old, only to lose it two years later. He spent several years trying to win his city back but never succeeded. After the disappointing loss that would never allow him to return home, Babur decided to begin building his own empire in Northern India.
To begin with, the Taj Mahal is located in Agra, India. It is a mausoleum which is located on the south bank of the Yamuna river. Also, it is a monument which was created in memory of Shah Jahan 's wife who was Mumtaz Mahal. The architectural style of the Taj Mahal is Mughal architecture, which combines Indian, Persian and Islamic influences. Also, this great monument took around 22 years to build and is a symbol of India’s history.
It is decorated with antique calligraphy and possesses incredible domed central chamber. The original doorway of the Taj was made with silver and gold, but it is reported that the expensive metals were looted in the year 1702. The beautiful architecture is erected on the shores of the Yamuna River which makes it even more attractive. Unlike the other red sandstone buildings designed during the times of Mughals, this monument was created using the finest grade of white marble. The marble was attained from a mine situated in Makrana, a small city in Rajasthan.
(Waddell, 1998, 88). Excavation of the portal tomb by ‘Ann Lynch in 1986 and 1988’ at Poulnabrone, Co. Clare shows that the side stones of the ‘rectangular chamber’ were kept in place by a large capstone. (Waddell, 1998, 90). The surrounding cairn was oval in shape and extended ‘about three metres’ from the side stones of the chamber. (Waddell, 1998, 90).
Exclusive location and charming beauty of the palace makes it one of the best photographic sites in Jaipur. A true combination of Mughal and Rajput style of architecture, Jal Mahal is constructed in red sandstone. Its original structure is five storied but its four storeys get submerged during monsoon and thus only top storey is visible. Tourists can book boat rides to visit the palace; only the terrace garden is allowed to be accessed by the visitors. The palace gives ample opportunities to spot flamingos and variety of migratory birds to the bird watchers.