The Taj Mahal, India

Graphic depicting the Taj Mahal in India.Remarkable as a statement of eternal love from Mogul, Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It is thought to be the pinnacle of Indian Mogul architecture and art. Now over 360 years old, the edifice is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. There is astounding symmetry of the white marble exterior appearance and the interior design of the mausoleum. Shah Jahan and his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal rest in their tombs at the underground level of this marvel which is one of the 7 new wonders of the world.

Construction of the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal construction began in 1632 and the full project was complete in 1652. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is given credit as the leading architect who incorporation Persian, Turkish, Ottoman and Indian design to the mausoleum site in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. As a new 7 wonders of the world it lives up to the translation of its name, “Crown Of Palaces,” as the “Jewel of Muslim Art” in India. The terrace area includes a tomb, mosque, and jawab. In spite of its gardens, reflective pool, additional tombs, gateway and Taj Gangi, the Taj Mahal is widely considered to currently contain only part of the vision Shah Jahan had for this memorial, one of the 7 new wonders of the world.

The Taj Mahal’s Most Remarkable Architectural Feature

Sometimes referred to as an onion dome because of its shape, this amrud is a 35 meters in height and sits upon a cylindrical opening in the ceiling. The genius of the construction of this aesthetic wonder has stood the test of time. The cylindrical opening transitions octagonal designs throughout the building. To create illusions of symmetry and size beyond its magnificent proportions, the architects and craftsmen displayed amazing knowledge and skill in the construction of a project of this scale. When looking at the dome, despite its enormous weight it seem to float effortlessly above. It is topped by a gilded finial reflective of Hindustani and Persian design with a moon signifying the Islamic symbolism as the horns point heavenward.

Exterior Marvel Is Matched By Interior Splendor

The design, craftsmanship, an artistry of its interior indisputably supports the status of the Taj Mahal as on of the 7 new wonders of the world. The inlay work is a lapidary and includes precious and semiprecious stones. Since Muslim tradition forbids elaborate decoration of graves, the bodies of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan lay in a plain crypt. This crypt is beneath the inner chamber. Their faces are turned toward Meca.

Calligraphy of The 99 Names Of God, Persian poems, tributes to Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal appear on many surfaces including the amazing large exterior pishtaq. Additional artistic features include plant motifs, incised paintings, herringbone designs, reflective tiles and finial floor tiling.

Mumtaz Mahal’s cenotaph is placed in the exact center of the inner chamber. Shah Jahan’s cenotaph placed on the western side of hers is the only asymmetrical feature of the entire complex. Some believe he intended to build his own Black Taj Mahal across the Yamuna river. History records that Shah Jahan was overthrown by his son and held in the fort of Agra. This is plausible evidence that what we behold as one of the new 7 wonders of the world was to have been even more magnificent than it is today.

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