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Taj Mahal


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Seven Wonders of the Modern World ::--1.Great Wall of China|| 2.Petra, Jordan|| 3.Christ the Redeemer|| 4.Machu Picchu|| 5.Chichen Itza|| 6.Colosseum|| 7.Taj Mahal|| Great Pyramid of Giza (Honorary Candidate)||


Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful and costly tombs in the world. The Mughal Emperor Shahjahan ordered it built in memory of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1629A.D.

The Taj Mahal (ताज महल, "crown of palaces","the Taj") is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer.

Location of Taj Mahal : Agra , India
Who Built Taj Mahal : 
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Attractions of Taj Mahal : 
Architecture of Taj Mahal, Naqqar Khana, Masjid or Mosque at Taj Mahal, Taj Mohotsav or Taj Festival
Things to do at Taj Mahal : 
Tonga ride at Taj Mahal, Bageecha walk in Taj Mahal, Photography at Taj Mahal



Islamic architecture, in its purest form, is epitomized by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan's Taj Mahal. Work started on this movement in 1634 continued for almost 22 years. Situated in the city of Agra in India, on the banks of the river Yamuna, the Taj is enclosed in a garden amongst fountains and ornamental trees.The walled complex includes two mosques and an imposing gateway. The tomb is encased in white marble which is decorated with flawless sculptures and inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy cut from precious gems. Below the dome in a dimly lit chamber lie the mortal remains of Shahjahan and beloved wife,queen Mumtaz Mahal, reminding the world of their undying love. It rests on a platform of red sandstone . At each corner of the platform stands a slender minaret (prayer tower). Each tower is 133 feet high . The building itself is 186 feet square. A dome covers the center of the building. It is 70 feet in diameter and 120 feet high.Passages from the Muslim holy book, Quern, decorate the outside. Built in charming environs, the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful architectural work in the world. Without doubt, The Taj Mahal ranks as amongst the most perfect buildings in the world, flawlessly proportionate, built entirely out of marble. Intended to be a commemoration of the memory of Shahjahan's beloved wife , in reality it is his gift to entire human race.



After the construction...

 The construction of the Taj commenced in 1631 and was completed in 1653.Workers were gathered from all over the country (India) and central Asia.The main architect was Isa Khan. Shahjahan cut off the hands of the workers after the completion of the Taj so Mahal that no one would ever be able to build such a marvelous monument again.


taj mahal agra india

History

Soon after the Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was deposed by his son Aurangzeb and put under house arrest at nearby Agra Fort. Upon Shah Jahan's death, Aurangzeb buried him in the mausoleum next to his wife.
By the late 19th century, parts of the buildings had fallen badly into disrepair. During the time of the Indian rebellion of 1857, the Taj Mahal was defaced by British soldiers and government officials, who chiselled out precious stones and lapis lazuli from its walls. At the end of the 19th century, British viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a sweeping restoration project, which was completed in 1908. He also commissioned the large lamp in the interior chamber, modelled after one in a Cairo mosque. During this time the garden was remodelled with British-style lawns that are still in place today.

Threats

In 1942, the government erected a scaffolding in anticipation of an air attack by German Luftwaffe and later by Japanese Air Force. During the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, scaffoldings were again erected to mislead bomber pilots.
More recent threats have come from environmental pollution on the banks of Yamuna River including acid rain due to the Mathura Oil Refinery, which was opposed by Supreme Court of India directives. The pollution has been turning the Taj Mahal yellow. To help control the pollution, the Indian government has set up the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), a 10,400-square-kilometre (4,000 sq mi) area around the monument where strict emissions standards are in place.
Concerns for the tomb's structural integrity have recently been raised because of a decline in the water level of the Yamuna River which is decreasing at a rate of 5 feet a year. In 2010, cracks appeared in parts of the tomb, and the minarets which surround the monument were showing signs of tilting, as the wooden foundation of the tomb may be rotting due to lack of water. Some persons predict that the tomb may collapse within 5 years.

Tourism

The Taj Mahal attracts between 2 million and 4 million visitors annually, including more than 200,000 from overseas. A dual- pricing system is in place, with a significantly lower entrance fee for Indian citizens than for foreigners. Most tourists visit in the cooler months of October, November and February. Polluting traffic is not allowed near the complex and tourists must either walk from parking lots or catch an electric bus. The Khawasspuras (northern courtyards) are currently being restored for use as a new visitor center.
The small town to the south of the Taj, known as Taj Ganji or Mumtazabad, was originally constructed with caravanserais, bazaars and markets to serve the needs of visitors and workmen. Lists of recommended travel destinations often feature the Taj Mahal, which also appears in several listings of seven wonders of the modern world, including the recently announced New Seven Wonders of the World, a recent poll with 100 million votes.
The grounds are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, except for Friday when the complex is open for prayers at the mosque between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. The complex is open for night viewing on the day of the full moon and two days before and after, excluding Fridays and the month of Ramadan. For security reasons only five items—water in transparent bottles, small video cameras, still cameras, mobile phones and small ladies' purses—are allowed inside the Taj Mahal.

Myths

Ever since its construction, the building has been the source of an admiration transcending culture and geography, and so personal and emotional responses have consistently eclipsed scholastic appraisals of the monument.A longstanding myth holds that Shah Jahan planned a mausoleum to be built in black marble across the Yamuna river. The idea originates from fanciful writings of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a European traveller who visited Agra in 1665. It was suggested that Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb before it could be built. Ruins of blackened marble across the river in Moonlight Garden, Mahtab Bagh, seemed to support this legend. However, excavations carried out in the 1990s found that they were discolored white stones that had turned black. A more credible theory for the origins of the black mausoleum was demonstrated in 2006 by archaeologists who reconstructed part of the pool in the Moonlight Garden. A dark reflection of the white mausoleum could clearly be seen, befitting Shah Jahan's obsession with symmetry and the positioning of the pool itself.
No evidence exists for claims that describe, often in horrific detail, the deaths, dismemberments and mutilations which Shah Jahan supposedly inflicted on various architects and craftsmen associated with the tomb. Some stories claim that those involved in construction signed contracts committing themselves to have no part in any similar design. Similar claims are made for many famous buildings. No evidence exists for claims that Lord William Bentinck, governor-general of India in the 1830s, supposedly planned to demolish the Taj Mahal and auction off the marble. Bentinck's biographer John Rosselli says that the story arose from Bentinck's fund-raising sale of discarded marble from Agra Fort.
Another myth suggests that beating the silhouette of the finial will cause water to come forth. To this day, officials find broken bangles surrounding the silhouette.
In 2000, India's Supreme Court dismissed P. N. Oak's petition to declare that a Hindu king built the Taj Mahal. Oak claimed that origins of the Taj, together with other historic structures in the country currently ascribed to Muslim sultans pre-date Muslim rule of India and thus, have a Hindu origin.

 

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