In a world that is fast losing humaneness Taj Mahal stands tall proclaiming the most humane quality, LOVE! It would be apt to quote Rabindranath Tagore here:
„You knew Shah Jahan, life and youth, wealth and glory, they all drift away in the current of time. You strove, therefore, to perpetuate only the sorrows of your heart. Kingly power, stern as thunder, way sink into sleep like the glowing embers of the setting sun…. Let the splendour of diamond, pearl and ruby vanish like the magic shimmer of the rainbow. Only-let this one teardrop, this Taj Mahal, glisten spotlessly bright on the cheek of time, forever and forever”.
While delving into the history of Taj Mahal one will come across the unforgettable love story of a prince and an exquisitely beautiful lady. Taj Mahal is a saga of love between Shah Jahan, a Mughal Emperor and Mumtaz Mahal, his queen. A love story etched in Marble, Taj Mahal stands on a raised marble platform, by the banks of Yamuna River. An estimated 20,000 people worked to complete the enchanting mausoleum, on the banks of the Yamuna and from 1631 AD and completed at the end of 1648 AD, taking 22 years in its making. Hence, it is also known as ” One of the wonders of the world”. Every possible attempt was made to beautify Taj Mahal. As a part of this beautification the garden in Taj Mahal was built. It was built by following the principles of Islam. For instance numerical four is considered auspicious by this sect. Hence the garden was laid out by maintaining this number or its multiples. It was even named Char Bagh. Apart from the garden there are other monuments in Taj Mahal that are enthralling.
Besides being a testimonial of love the Taj Mahal is undoubtedly a spectacular piece of art. The multiple hues of the marbles, the carved flowers, the frescos, the amazing arches, the main gateway of Taj Mahal, the reticulated frames and the divine calligraphy bear testimony to the grandiose sculpture of Taj Mahal. The central dome of the Taj Mahal is 187 feet high. Red sandstone was brought from Fatehpur Sikri, Jasper from Punjab, Jade and Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli and Sapphire from Sri Lanka, Coal and Cornelian from Arabia and diamonds from Panna. In all 28 kind of rare, semi precious and precious stones were used for inlay work in the Taj Mahal. The chief building material, the white marble was brought from the quarries of Makrana, from Rajasthan.
The main gate of Taj faces the Southern gate. The gateway is 151 feet by 117 feet and rises to a height of 100 feet. Tourists can enter the main compound by a small gate at the side of the main gate. The main gate of red sandstone measures 30 mts. in height. It is inscribed with verses from the Koran in Arabic. The small domed pavilions on top are in Hindu style. A striking feature of the gateway is that the lettering appears to be of the same size. The engravers have skillfully enlarged and lengthened the letters, which create an illusion of uniformity. Even well laid out gardens measuring 300 X 300 mts. in the form of a Charbagh are spread on either side of the pavement. In the centre is also a platform and from its left, one can also visit the Taj Museum.
This majestic memorial has been a silent spectator of the sufferings of a lovelorn emperor. Everywhere within the monument divinity and tranquility have been etched out on the stone. The calligraphy of Taj Mahal reiterates the verses from the holy Quran. Most definitely this reflects the religious bent of mind of the emperor. But at the same time the calligraphy also places love and divinity at par.
Taj Mahal, thus, celebrates the love of Shah Jahan for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal. This monument of love stands loftily as a surreal abode of love. Taj Mahal inspires the millions of visitors, the world over and rouses the awesome energy of purity and perfection.