Read This Short Essay on Taj Mahal!
The Taj Mahal, a materialized vision of loveliness marks a perfect indelible mark in the architecture of Mogul period. This building stands on a bend on the right bank of river Yamuna at Agra presently situated in Uttar Pradesh state.
This is the mausoleum of Emperor Shah Jahan’s beloved wife, the empress Arjuman Banu Begum also called Mumtaz mahal. Ustad Isa Khan of Turkey was credited to have been the main architect of this building. Tajmahal is now UNESCO’s world heritage site.
But as per another version, it is believed that Tajmahal was not built by Shah Jahan to his wife. It is a palace called Tejomahalaya, which was a palace built by Hindu king Raja Man Singh. It was not built meant for the purpose of a tomb. The building was ceased by Shah Jahan. It consists of guest houses, security quarters, horse stables and other edifices which are unconnected to a tomb structure.
There are two buildings already built and existing at Delhi from which the design of Tajmahal arrived.
These buildings are:
i. Mausoleum of Humayun, Delhi
ii. Tomb of Khan Khanan, a Mogul nobleman, a lesser-known structure, Delhi.
The main structure occupies relatively a small portion of the whole architectural layout. The site is rectangular measuring 579 metres by 305 metres. A square portion of 305 metres side was set aside on north side in which the white marble building on a raised terrace was built at the extreme north side adjacent to the river in the center.
A high boundary wall encloses the site having broad octagonal bastions at each corner. A monumental entrance gateway is placed in the centre of southern side. In the front southern court, the stables, outhouses and other edifices were added.
The southern entrance structure is imposing containing chamfered angles, arches, parapets and vaulted roof. Access is provided into the garden of the main enclosure through this gate. The front perspective view of Tajmahal building and its garden is seen from this point. The garden is laid on the principle of Charbagh.
It is totally symmetrical containing paved pathways, lawns, bushes, flower plants, fountains and elevated lotus pools, all arranged to reflect the images. A straight pathway leads to the main structure.
Significant structures are placed at the northern end of this enclosure consisting of the tomb building in the centre. The two subsidiary edifices also in marble are placed one on each side symmetrically. Of these two, that on the west side is the mosque and the other on the east is merely a replica of the mosque for the sake of symmetry. It might be used as a guesthouse.
The main white marble tomb building stands in the middle of an elevated large terrace measuring 57 metres square in plan and 6.7 metres high. This is entered by symmetrical stairs built in the center of south side of terrace. The main building over the terrace is square in plan with chamfered corners.
The interior consists of a main octagonal central hall with subsidiary chambers also octagonal in plan placed at each corner connected by radiating passages. The main hall is in two storeys with a cenotaph chamber built under with descending steps. The main hall was roofed by hemispherical vault forming the inner shell of the double dome.
Above this the main dome was built leaving a large void in between. Perforated marble screens filled the arched windows in two levels. There are some carvings on the dados inside the corner rooms. Every part of the monument shows fineness, beauty, curves, decorations which attributes to a royal female to whom the monument was dedicated.
This was carried to a height of 33 metres, having a cupola above each corner, while over the centre is the great bulbous dome reaching to height of 57 metres. The facade is same and alike on all its four sides. A minaret in three stages crowned by a kiosk with cupola roof rises from each corner on the terrace to a height of 42 metres. The same Tajmahal building would become an architectural blunder without these four minarets.
The fine marble building has its facades same and alike on all its four sides. The façade has its large central arch and two arched windows one at the bottom and the other at top on each side. Perforated screens fill all the arched openings except the front entrance.
A graceful and finely curved dome takes place over a circular drum in the center rising to a height of 57 metres. Similar smaller domes were placed over corner rooms. Merloned parapets on top of walls decorate the skyline of the building. The fine lines of stone joints not only divided the surfaces, but also enriched the beauty of surfaces.
The factors responsible for the beauty of Tajmahal are not only the fine material of white marble, but it mainly lies in its proportions, the grouping of its parts, their sizes, simple curves, rhythmical disposal, interrelation of parts in total. Its proportions are simple as its shape. The entire width is equal to the height and the height of the main vertical lower building body equals to height of the dome. The crowning glory of the facade lies in the volume and shape of the dome supported on a lofty drum.