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    Taj Mahal

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    .

    Taj Mahal

    The Taj Mahal is amausoleum located in Agra, India. The MughalEmperorShah Jahan

    commissioned it as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Constructionbegan in 1632 and was completed in approximately 1648. Some dispute surrounds the

    question of who designed the Taj Mahal; it is clear a team of designers and craftsmen

    were responsible for the design, with Ustad Ahmad Lahauri considered the most likelycandidate as the principal designer.

    The Taj Mahal (sometimes called "the Taj") is generally considered the finest example ofMughal architecture, a style that combines elements ofPersian, Turkish,Indian, and

    Islamicarchitectural styles. While the white domedmarblemausoleum is the mostfamiliar part of the monument, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of

    structures. In 1983 the Taj became a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site and was cited as "the

    jewel ofMuslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the

    world's heritage."

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    Shah Jahan, who commissioned the Taj Mahal -"Shah jahan on a globe" from the

    Smithsonian Institute

    Artistic depiction ofMumtaz Mahal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Jahanhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Jahanhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithsonian_Institutehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumtaz_Mahalhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mumtaz_Mahal.jpghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mumtaz_Mahal.jpghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Shahjahan_on_globe.jpghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Shahjahan_on_globe.jpghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Jahanhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithsonian_Institutehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumtaz_Mahal
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    Contents

    1 Origin and inspiration

    o 1.1 Influences

    2 The garden 3 Outlying buildings

    4 The tomb

    o 4.1 Base

    o 4.2 Dome

    o 4.3 Finial

    o 4.4 Minarets

    5 Decoration

    o 5.1 Exterior decoration

    o 5.2 Calligraphy

    o 5.3 Abstract geometric decoration

    o 5.4 Plant motifso 5.5 Interior decoration

    o 5.6 The inner chamber

    o 5.7 The jali

    o 5.8 The cenotaphs and tombs

    o 5.9 Details of lapidary

    6 Construction

    o 6.1 Water infrastructure

    o 6.2 Craftsmen

    o 6.3 Materials

    o 6.4 Costs

    7 History 8 Tourism

    9 Myths 10 See also

    11 Citations

    12 References

    Origin and inspiration

    In 1631 Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal's period of greatest prosperity, wasgriefstricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their daughter

    Gauhara Begum, their fourteenth child. Contemporary court chronicles concerning Shah

    Jahan's grief form the basis of the love story traditionally held as the inspiration for theTaj Mahal.

    Construction of the Taj Mahal was begun soon after Mumtaz's death. The principal

    mausoleum was completed in 1648, and the surrounding buildings and garden were

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Origin_and_inspirationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Influenceshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_gardenhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Outlying_buildingshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_tombhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Basehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Domehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Finialhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Minaretshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Decorationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Exterior_decorationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Calligraphyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Abstract_geometric_decorationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Plant_motifshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Interior_decorationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_inner_chamberhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_jalihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_cenotaphs_and_tombshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Details_of_lapidaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Constructionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Water_infrastructurehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Craftsmenhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Materialshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Costshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Historyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Tourismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Mythshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#See_alsohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Citationshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Referenceshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauhara_Begumhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauhara_Begumhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gardenhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Origin_and_inspirationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Influenceshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_gardenhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Outlying_buildingshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_tombhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Basehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Domehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Finialhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Minaretshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Decorationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Exterior_decorationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Calligraphyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Abstract_geometric_decorationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Plant_motifshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Interior_decorationhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_inner_chamberhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_jalihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#The_cenotaphs_and_tombshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Details_of_lapidaryhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Constructionhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Water_infrastructurehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Craftsmenhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Materialshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Costshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Historyhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Tourismhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Mythshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#See_alsohttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Citationshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal#Referenceshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gauhara_Begumhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden
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    finished five years later. Visiting Agra in 1663, the French travellerFranois Bernier

    wrote the following:

    I shall finish this letter with a description of the two wonderful mausoleums whichconstitute the chief superiority ofAgra overDelhi. One was erected byJehan-guyre [sic]

    in honor of his fatherEkbar; and Chah-Jehan raised the other to the memory of his wifeTage Mehale, that extraordinary and celebrated beauty, of whom her husband was so

    enamoured it is said that he was constant to her during life, and at her death was soaffected as nearly to follow her to the grave.

    Influences

    The Tomb of Humayun in Delhi, constructed in 1560, shares substantially the samepattern as the Taj Mahal

    The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on many design traditions, particularly Persian

    and earlier Mughal architecture. Specific inspiration came from a number of successful

    Timurid and Mughal buildings. These include theGur-e Amir(the tomb of Timur,progenitor of the Mughal dynasty, in Samarkand), Humayun's Tomb,Itmad-Ud-Daulah's

    Tomb (sometimes called theBaby Taj), and Shah Jahan's own Jama Masjid inDelhi.

    Under his patronage, Mughal building reached new levels of refinement. While previousMughal building had primarily been constructed of redsandstone, Shah Jahan promoted

    the use of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones.

    The garden

    The complex is set in and around a largecharbagh (a formal Mughal garden divided intofour parts). Measuring 300 meters 300 meters