The Taj Mahal – Poetry in stone

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The most glorious monument in the world, the Taj Mahal. Equal in height and width and identical from all four sides. The row of fountains, if taken up all the way to the Taj, are placed in such precision that they would divide the monument in two mirror halves. The onion shaped dome is capped by an inverted lotus ( a Hindu religious symbol) on top of which is an iron staff with a crescent ( Islamic religious symbol). The crescent is exactly 1/8th the height of the Taj, the Taj being 55 metres. Here the symmetrical division with the fountains and the precision with which both ‘parts’ are identically constructed, is clearly visible.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Entrance Gate: The central arch through which a similar arched shape of exact dimensions ( part of the Taj) is visible.The aayats are written in larger sized script in the horizontal line, while the size is smaller in the lower portions of the vertical bands. This was done to maintain symmetry to have them look of equal dimension when viewed from a distance.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Layout: All the fountains are linked underground by a common water line to a single reservoir just outside the practising mosque of the Taj. The pressure in each of them is kept uniform to maintain an identical height of the water spouting up.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The dome: Spikes/poles are hung through the many hooks on the dome. This helps the cleaners haul themselves up taking the support of the poles.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Close up of the dome: The famous pietra dura work and the aayats of the Quran engraved in marble. The hooks on the dome are very visible here.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Optical illusion: A four-petalled flower, a star and a hexagon, all visible in the same patch of stone in the courtyard. Four, eight and its multiples are holy numbers in Islam. A star is symbolic of the Hindu religion.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The minarets: The slant in the minarets was deliberate. In the unfortunate occurence of an earthquake, the slant would ensure that the minarets fall away from the Taj rather than onto it!

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

A side view: Slice it into two, and you would get a mirror image.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Symmetry and precision in sandstone

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The positioning: Standing on a sharp bend of the Yamuna in direction of the river current is indicative of a preferred architectual position. In the unfortunate event of floods, the curve would ensure that water, instead of collecting, would flow away from the Taj.

The Taj Mahal, Agra, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The view from the Taj: Emperor Shahjehan, who resided in the Agra Fort, would take the boat to the Taj and climb up steps at the back to be near his beloved queen, Mumtaz Mahal, the jewel of the palace (Mumtaz -jewel; Mahal -palace). Many years later, when he was imprisoned in the same Agra Fort by his wily son Aurangzeb, he would look at the Taj from his prison.

 

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This entry was posted in Agra, Architecture, History, Indian monuments, Marble, Seven wonders of the world and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to The Taj Mahal – Poetry in stone

  1. kulkdeepa says:

    Very detailed and well written! Informative as well!

  2. vasanthi says:

    Very informative.. quite a few interesting facts 🙂

  3. Bon says:

    Lovely post zay…very artistic pictures with detailed information. Took me back to the memory lane…visited Agra in 2007…but now I know more about it all…liking your blogs…keep writing….

  4. Good one Zaynti. Enjoyed the blog. Good pics too. (y)

  5. Sharada says:

    Very interesting and well described, Jayanti. Cheers.

  6. priyanka says:

    Good capture Jayanti…liked it v. Much

  7. Kriti Maroli says:

    Interesting read, Jayanti! I particularly liked the logic behind slanting of Minarets.. Most of the old wonders of the World i think were destroyed by earthquakes and natural calamities? Like the Handing Gardens of Bablon, Colossus of Rhodes, Light House of Alexandria (by Crete).. I have also read that the Taj and the Yamuna are inseparable and the stability of the monument is derived much from the river.It is essential that upstream water be released from dams to maintain the quantum of flow and when the river dies, Taj will not stand!

    • zaynti says:

      Kriti, thank you for your generous praise and your comment. You always add value to whatever I post with your observations. The Taj and the Yamuna are inseparable. It is so essential not only to maintain the quantum of flow but also to keep it clean. The Taj cannot fade away!

  8. Tim says:

    I agree that the Taj Mahal is the most beautiful building in the world. When I first went there I was skeptical. All the hype could not possibly be lived up to. I was wrong and fell in love with the monument as soon as I saw it.

    • zaynti says:

      Thank you Tim for stopping by on my blog and enjoying the post on the Taj. It is always a fulfilling experience to see the Taj There is always something new – a detail or a perspective – to savour on each visit.

      Have a great day!

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