Taj Mahal Research Paper

1144 Words5 Pages
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
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In total it has 22 small domes which symbolize the 22 years of the construction of the Taj Mahal. Around the building is the large dome in the center is the Crown Palace. Surrounding the area there are four chhatris (dome-shaped pavilions which are commonly used in Indian architecture); and at the ends of the platform there are four minarets culminating in even smaller domes, these structures were built at an obtuse angle outward so that in case of an earthquake-- which are common in that region-- they do not fall on the main building. Geometry and symmetry are basic characteristics of Indian architecture and they are inserted into a unifying framework of the complex grounds of the Taj…show more content…
The dome is an exquisitely crafted work of art “with a broad padma-kosa (lotus petals) and beautiful Kalasa finials is mounted on the tomb” the intricate detail creates grandeur that is easily seen both up close and from a distance (Architecture of Taj Mahal Dome). The outer layer of the dome is made out of marble. The dome of the Shrine of Love “rests on an amazingly high drum and has a total height of 145' 8" from the base of the drum to the summit of the finial” this creates an illusion of weightlessness even though the dome itself way tons (Architecture of Taj Mahal Dome). Huge slabs of marble were laid in rings creating the dome and giving the dome an almost tiled look on the outside.
The pristine marble slabs give the outside of the dome a mosaic finish that is then recreated on the inside with stonecut “paintings” made of precious minerals. These mosaics are, without a doubt, my favorite part of the Taj Mahal. The handcut tiles and semiprecious jewels glow and shimmer, making the inside of the building look like a treasure chest. They are cut to resemble flowers and ivy as a pastiche of other Indian mosaics and they serve to draw the eye from the grandiose architecture to the minute, but still mesmerizing detail

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