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Taj Mahal

  • Date Submitted: 03/27/2015 05:58 PM
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Taj Mahal

Word Architectural History

      If one were to google, “the greatest man-made structures” or “the most beautiful buildings” or “the most recognizable buildings in the world”, the Taj Mahal would show up in all of the searches.   The Taj Mahal located in Agra, India is considered to be one of most beautiful architectural achievements in the world.

      The Taj Mahal was commissioned by the Shah Jahan as a tribute to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died while giving birth to their 14 child.   The Mughals were at the height of their influence during Shah Jahan’s reign, and India’s riches afforded the Shah extreme wealth and power.   It was during this time that one of the most beautiful structures in human history was built; the Taj Mahal.   Construction on the principle mausoleum started in 1631 CE and was completed in 1648 CE.   The mosque to the left, guest house to the right and the main gateway in front, were later completed in 1653 CE.[1]

      The Taj Mahal is set at the northern end of the main axis of a vast oblong walled-in complex that measures 896.10 x 300.84 m.   The tomb garden consists of two main components; a cross axial, four-fold garden and towards the river Jamna, a raised terrace on which are placed the mausoleum and its flanked buildings.[2]   The Taj Mahal’s familiar marble domes are framed by four minarets from which Muslims are called to prayer. Each is designed with a slight outward lean, to protect the main mausoleum in case one of them should collapse.

      Symmetry along two sides of a central axis, new columnar styles, curvilinear forms, and symbolic decorations based on naturalistic plant motifs are all characteristics of the Shahjahan style that can be found in the complex. In the Taj Mahal, every aspect of the architecture supports the concept of the paradisiacal mansion.   It is expressed in the overall planning of the entire complex[3].

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