Bishwa Nath Singh
Taj Mahal of Agra of India - a monument of immeasurable beauty and the epitome of love.
( Photo of Taj Mahal of Agra of India)
Bishwa Nath Singh:
Taj Mahal of Agra in India is a monument of immeasurable beauty and the epitome of love.The beauty of this monument is such that it is beyond the scope of words.The thoughts that come into the mind while watching the Taj Mahal of Agra in India is not just its phenomenal beauty, but the immense love which was the reason behind its construction. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan got this monument constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, with whom he fell in love at the first sight. 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 was generally considered to be its principal designer. Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles. In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. The construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632, one year after her death.The court chronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal.The Principle mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words: “Should guilty seek asylum here,. Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin. Should a sinner make his way to this mansion, All his past sins are to be washed away.”The very sight of this mansion at glance creates sorrowing sighs; And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.. In this world this edifice has been made; To display thereby the creator's glory.”The very first sight of the Taj Mahal, the epitome of love and romance leaves one mesmerized. It is is the first wonder of the world. It is made of white marble. It is a masterpiece marble work that was got built during regime of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. He had got erected this mausoleum in memory of his beloved wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal, who had died in 1630 A.D. Her last wish to her husband was to build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before. Thus Emperor Shahjahan had got started building it in 1631 A.D and had got completed at the end of 1653 A.D. For twenty two years, twenty thousand workmen are said to be employed on it daily, for their accommodation a small town, named after the deceased empress-'Mumtazabad, now known as Taj Ganj, was built adjacent to it.. The western writers had rightly focused Taj Mahal as a sheer love poetry in marble.It is marvelous and unrivalled, The Taj Mahal is the only one of its kind across the world .Gurudev Noble laureate Dr.Rabindra Nath Tagore had described Taj Mahal as a tear on the face of eternity whereas to others, it is a tender elegy in marble and the ultimate expression of love. It has been spread over: forty two acresThe Taj Mahal stood silent, an eloquent testimony of eternal love, etched against the perfect evening sky.A lyric in luminous marble, the Taj Mahal stands on the banks of the river Yamuna. Immovable and unsurpassed in its beauty, yet the Taj Mahal has moved thousands of people to an expression of eloquent emotion. The first of the eight Wonders of the WorldTaj Mahal was designed by a Persian architect named Ustad Isa, at the behest of the heart-broken Mughal king - Shah Jahan – to fulfill the last wish of his wife. But let us go back in time to that fateful day when the great love story between the Mughal emperor and his would-be queen began….In the year 1607 A.D. at the Mughal ruler’s palace at Agra, a festive was being celebrated at the royal Meena Bazar. On this day, the gates of the private market attached to the harem of Emperor Jehangir, were thrown open to royalty and high-ranking commoners alike. It was at one of the stalls that Prince Khurram, later Shah Jahan, espied the lovely Arjumand Begum (later Mumtaz Mahal) and was completely enraptured by her charms.When the royal wedding took place five years later, in accordance with auspicious planetary configurations, Prince Khurram resplendently attired in rich gold and brocade, rode in regal splendor in the center of the magnificent marriage procession of richly caparisoned elephants. Accompanying acrobats and musicians danced and sang in joyous celebration even as gold coins were tossed as a gesture of benevolence for the celebrating throngs. Emperor Jehangir, also much taken with the beauty of his young daughter-in-law, bestowed upon her the name of Mumtaz Mahal or “Chosen One of the Palace”.The prince continued to court his young bride ardently even after they were married , bringing her lavish gifts of diamonds and gorgeous roses from the most distant gardens in the country. Mumtaz Mahal, in turn, stood staunchly by her husband’s side through all the vicissitudes of life and rose to be his trusted political adviser and counsel. In their nineteen years of wedded bliss, she bore him fourteen children, of whom only seven survived. The birth of the last daughter proved to be a difficult one for her and finally took her life. When the danger to her life was perceived, the emperor was speedily summoned and sat devotedly by her side, murmuring soothing words of comfort and love. All in vain. Before she breathed her last, Mumtaz Mahal made Shah Jahan promise to erect a peerless monument to immortalize their love. A labour force of twenty thousand workers was recruited across northern India. Sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlayers from southern India, stonecutters from Baluchistan, a specialist in building turrets, another who carved only marble flowers were part of the thirty-seven men who formed the creative unit It took the heart-broken Shah Jahan twenty two years to construct the Taj Mahal and twenty thousand men toiled ceaselessly to fulfill his dream. Built of the finest white marble and inlaid with precious stones, the Taj Mahal is flanked by two immensely beautiful mosques on either side. Since the lovely Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth, the Taj Mahal is today an Urs or place of pilgrimage.Here, every Friday, burkha-clad women and men wearing traditional prayer caps, solemnly gather for the prayer to be read out from the Koran (the holy book of the Muslims), at sunrise. As the ten Khadims or servants of God faithfully intone the prayer, the devout reverently bow their heads as a mark of respect to one so well loved, now gone!Beyond the voluptuous curves of domes and arches, ramrod lines of minarets, pillars and calligraphic frames and friezes, the delicate symmetry of it all, is captured the rhythm of birds in flight and the secrets of flowers, bringing to life the carvings decorating the Taj Mahal. In the warm, vibrant colours of Nature. Colours that will never fade, like the everlasting love of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. Immortalising the Taj Mahal as the epitome of an undying love .Taj Mahal is regarded as the first amongst those eight wonders of the world, and some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj Mahal is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset. The Taj Mahal seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj Mahal as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna River.Shah Jahan had begun his reign by killing his brothers; but he had neglected to kill his sons, one of who was destined to overthrow him. In 1657 his son Aurangzeb led an insurrection from the Deccan. Aurangzeb defeated all the forces sent against him, captured his father, and imprisoned him in the Fort of Agra. For nine bitter years the deposed emperor lingered there, never visited by his son, attended only by his faithful daughter Jahanara, and spending his days looking from the Jasmine Tower of his prison across the Jamuna river to where his once-beloved Mumtaz lay in her jeweled tomb Taj Mahal..The Taj Mahal means Crown Palace in English is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of queen Mumtaz Mahal at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The queen’s real name was Arjumand Banu. In the tradition of the Mughals, important ladies of the royal family were given another name at their marriage or at some other significant event in their lives, and the public commonly used that new name. Shah Jahan's real name was Shahab-ud-din, and he was known as Prince Khurram before ascending to the throne in 1628.The Taj Mahal has been erected on a raised, square platform (186 x 186 feet) with its four corners truncated, forming an unequal octagon. The architectural design uses the interlocking arabesque concept, in which each element stands on its own and perfectly integrates with the main structure. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and symmetry of architectural elements. The mausoleum is a part of a vast complex comprising of a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque to the left, a guest house to the right and several other palatial buildings. The Taj Mahal is at the farthest end of this complex, with the river Jamuna behind it. The large garden contains four reflecting pools dividing it at the center. Each of these four sections is further subdivided into four sections and then each into yet another four sections. Like the Taj, Mahal , the garden elements serve like Arabesque, standing on their own and also constituting the whole. The main entrance, once guarded with solid silver gates, is a maze of marble embroidery; inlaid in the wall in jeweled script are quotations from the Koran, one of which invites the "pure in heart" to enter the gardens of Paradise. It is a monument of eternal love that is liked by all visiting it irrespective of their religion and country.
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Bishwa Nath Singh :
Taj Mahal is one of the eighth wonder of world.It is one of the most beautiful heritage site of India. Its a symbol of love.Let us visit it times and again to appreciate its beauty!