Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal, Agra

One of the 7 Wonders of the World

The Taj Mahal stands elegantly and yet with subtle demureness along the banks of the River Yamuna, at a junction where the river takes a sharp turn and flows eastwards. Popularly seen by the world as 'The Symbol of Eternal Love", this mausoleum was inspired by the eternal love of Emperor Shahjahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Its name signifies the "Crown Palace" and it is indeed considered as one of the most mesmerizing masterpieces to ever be constructed during the Mughal era.

No word would suffice the description of this monument, but one can definitely agree that is deserves to be listed as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World."

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What makes the Taj Mahal a famous monument in India?

Get ready to be enchanted when you come face to face with one of the world's most captivating sights - a symbol that can be highly revered to as an exemplar and a spectacle that is nothing short of wonder. Nothing can really prepare you for a view of 'The Taj Mahal'. Built by Emperor Shahjahan as an eternal symbol of his love for his Empress Mumtaz Mahal, a name when translated means the "Jewel of the Palace", has immortalized their love, making this edifice one of the most visited and highly admired masterpieces in the world, and Shahjahan as the architectural patron of all times.

This majestic place is not just the ideal balance of ethereal luminescence, built in perfect symmetry on a high scale, which is virtually impossible to picture by just looking at its oft-reproduced photographs. It is the precision in its design seen and the exquisite detailing covering every square inch of the marble that aptly gives it the well-deserved title as one of the 'Seven Wonders of the World'.

From afar, what just appears to be an impeccably symmetrical white-marbled marvel is in fact an edifice which is symbolic of love that seem to have been carefully preserved in a large bejewelled box. The Pietra dura elegantly decorates the interior and exterior of the Taj Mahal, of which the design is believed to have been inspired by an Italian art scheme imported by Emperor Jahangir to Agra at that time. However, according to several other versions, this most likely seems to be an architecture that originates from Persia.

It depicts delicately engraved floret arrangements inlaid with agate, carnelian, coral, jasper, turquoise, lapis lazuli, malachite, tiger's eye and every other precious and semi-precious stones known to man. Varied shades of marble slates and sandstone form an integral part of the base construction of this mausoleum. Exquisite black marble inlaid calligraphy depicts every letter carefully expanded in size as your view moves to the top. This creates an optical illusion of a completely well measured font with each letter engraved in a size that looks the same from any and every angle that one views.

Located within a vast Mughal garden that spans around 17 hectares in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahal was thoughtfully constructed on the right banks of the Yamuna River. Built in memory of Mumtaz Mahal with its construction commencing in 1632 AD and ending in 1648 AD, the Taj Mahal Complex includes a guest house, mosque, and the main gateway toits south, an exterior courtyard and its monasteries that were completed in 1653 AD. There are several inscriptions from the Holy Quran written in Arabic that have been instrumental in setting the timetable of the Taj Mahal. For its construction, labourers, supervisors, stone-cutters, masons, carvers, sculptors, inlayers, calligraphers, painters, artisans and dome builders that were summoned from Iran and Central Asia and Iran. The main architect of the Taj was said to be Ustad-Ahmad Lahauri.

The Taj Mahal is a perfect symmetrically planned building made of brick-lime mortar finished with red sandstone and veneered with marble along with an inlay work of precious and semi-precious stones. Structures made of red sandstone are the guest house and the mosque, which are identical in design, featuring large terraces with massive platforms over them – this is in contrast to the tomb with its platform and terrace made of marble.

Taj Mahal epitomizes one of the world's finest artistic and architectural accomplishments seen in its almost perfect craftsmanship inspired by the Indo-Islamic sepulchral design. From its design conceptualization to its execution, this mausoleum exhibits an exclusive aesthetic quality that is well-balanced, symmetric and in harmony with its various elements and surroundings.

The integrity of the Taj Mahal is seen in the intactness of the entire complex. The mausoleum's physical fabric remains in good condition, which clearly showcases that it stood the test of time. Its stability of its foundation, structure, minarets and other structural aspects are still being studied and monitored. To control the environmental impact and deterioration due to air pollution and various other harming entities, an air-control monitoring station has been installed which monitors the air quality constantly and controls factors of decay when they arise. Adequate regulation enforcement and management of the premises help ensure the protection of the complex and its extended zones. In addition, we'd like to see that future plans for developing tourist facilities should ensure that both, the visual and functional viability and integrity, of the complex is maintained, especially in association with the ancient Fort of Agra.

It was since the time of inscription that the tomb, its central chamber, the guest house, mosque, main entry gate and the entire complex have maintained their authenticity. There has been no alteration or modifications done to the entire Taj Mahal Complex. Its structures and inclusions remain intact as they were since the time of completion. There have been a significant amount of repair and conservation work done since the British period but without compromising the original qualities and entities of the complex and its buildings. Conservation works continue and guidelines are being followed strictly to ensure that the authenticity, design and form of the complex continue to remain intact and preserved.

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