“I’ll build you the Taj Mahal, just to profess my love to you“. A quote that is often used by Romeos does not in the slightest amass the foresight and glory it took to build the magnificent Taj Mahal.
Longer than a week ago now, I visited the majestic Taj. The colossal, snow white tomb built by Shah Jahan, in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal (initially Arjumand Bano Begum). An opulent yet historic love story, the tale of the Taj is still popular for its sheer grandeur.
True to its name, the Taj does not fail to disappoint in any way. Built from the bottom, up, completely out of White Makrana Marble, the Taj glistens beautifully under the sun and can be spotted miles away.
My visit to the Taj Mahal opened my eyes to the details and techniques that impressed me generously.
Each marble slab was carved to create an almost realistic design of foliage on the walls of the Taj. Every leaf, petal, bud, and stem had been fashioned with so much precision, they had just the right relief. Becoming almost an extension from the marble walls, every element of the Taj, displays unmatched workmanship and skill.
A definite visit when traveling through India, the Taj Mahal is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh in Agra. One of India’s most beautiful monuments, this ivory legend condenses only a small part of the past. It puts in perspective a little royalty, an opulent lifestyle and the skill of the artisans, bringing together a glimpse from the Mughal empire.
For a structure that took 17 years to be built, the Taj Mahal still stands tall in all its glory. Completed by artisans from central Asia and Iran, it is often said, the Emperor cut off the thumb of the men who built it, so they could never reproduce another.
What caught my eye was the inlay work which added an element of regalia to the entire monument. Also called Pietra Dura, it is comprised of an inlay using semi-precious gemstones to create unique designs. Decorating the facade and the interiors of the tomb, the Taj Mahal portrayed refined taste.
Bloodstone, Carnelian, and Agates were some of the stones used in the inlay work at the Taj. Originally though, the emperor had commissioned Malachine, Mother of Pearl and various other precious gems to be used. Set in the marble almost 3 1/2 centuries ago, their work has grown to become a Wonder of the World.
An endless amount of Jali cut from Makrana Marble forms the cenotaph of the two royals. At precisely the center of the Taj lies the tombs of both the empress and the emperor.
Governed by perfect symmetry, the four minarets are flanked by a Mosque to the left and a Mehman Khana or assembly hall to the right.
Tranquility and peace are elements that become predominant when you reach the Taj Mahal and just one visit would seem merely incomplete.