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Old November 16th, 2011, 09:45 AM   #1
marcopolo123
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The Taj Mahal - What went into building it?

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and those who haven’t. The Taj Mahal is probably the world’s most recognizable and beautiful man-made structure in the world.

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The sheer Size
The Taj Mahal was a project of mind boggling scale where material and workers came from all corners of India and Asia. Red sandstone came from Fatehpur Sikri, Jasper from Punjab, Jade and Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli & Sapphire from Sri Lanka, Coal and Cornelian from Arabia and Diamonds from Panna in Madhya Pradesh. A thousand elephants were used to transport all this material to Agra.

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A labour force of twenty thousand workers also had Sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria & Persia and stone cutters from Baluchistan. Some of the key people involved in the construction were Ismail Afandi of the Ottoman Empire for designing the main dome, 'Puru' from Benares, Persia was the supervising architect, Qazim Khan, a native of Lahore cast the solid gold finial, Chiranjilal, a lapidary from Delhi was the chief sculptor and mosaicist, while Amanat Khan from Shiraz, Iran played the role of the chief calligrapher.

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A discovery
The Taj Mahal is symmetry personified except for the fact that the pillars surrounding it are slightly tilted outwards. This was intentional, so that in the event of an earthquake they will fall away from the tomb!

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Exclusivity Contract
Legend says that the emperor Shah Jahan signed contracts with his workmen barring them in building anything remotely similar to the Taj Mahal in future. Some even say, that he cut off the hands of the key architects! Shah Jahan will be disappointed to note that several replicas of the Taj Mahal can be seen today across the world. Prominent among them are the Taj Mahal Bangladesh, the Bibi Ka Maqbara in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, NJ and the Tripoli Shrine Temple in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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(the Yamuna)

Interestingly, there are many mysteries and hidden secrets about the Taj Mahal. Some also say that there was to be another Taj Mahal build with black marble adjacent to the White wonder! The mysteries remain unresolved but there is consensus on the fact that no other entity personifies eternal love better than Taj Mahal.
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Old November 17th, 2011, 07:02 AM   #2
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one of my favorites
a jewel
its perfect


Quote:
Originally Posted by fourteen
i think this mosque one of the best mosques in the world
the taj mahal isnt a mosque
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Old November 18th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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Its a mausoleum to be precise
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Old December 3rd, 2011, 01:48 PM   #4
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i see in 3idiots movie,so amazyng taj mahal
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Old January 25th, 2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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The Taj Mahal made with white Marble and it was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz. It is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. It is the finest example of mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

[IMG]http://t3.************/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSqkbLEc2wFI-G2to65tKxLumelN3KTU1diDiOW2H8Qq7XcL8fT7Z8DeGAs[/IMG]
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Old January 25th, 2012, 02:18 PM   #6
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it's by far one of the best of the the new seven wonders of the world!
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Old January 27th, 2012, 06:24 PM   #7
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Yeah, Jeronimo Veroneo made such a wonderful building!
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Old January 28th, 2012, 12:23 AM   #8
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I didn't know the story/legend about Veroneo, but still i love the perspective of the four tower crowning thee dome, the mirroring waters and the delicate carvings on the marbel facade...
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Old January 28th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garum0 View Post
Yeah, Jeronimo Veroneo made such a wonderful building!
lol
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Old January 29th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #10
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This is one fine example of a certain architecture that is universally loved even by the most hard to please. It's grand in many sense, but theres a certain grace to this building. Take note: Abraj Al Bait.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #11
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And I am probably the only person in the world that doesn´t like it

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Old February 11th, 2012, 09:08 AM   #12
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so true..Taj Mahal is beauty....
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Old February 12th, 2012, 03:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odoaker View Post
And I am probably the only person in the world that doesn´t like it

Aaaa picture
Why?
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Old June 4th, 2012, 08:06 AM   #14
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In 1631 the emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz, who died in childbirth. The white marble mausoleum at Agra has become the monument of a man's love for a woman.

Shah Jahan came to power in 1622 when he seized the throne from his father, while murdering his brothers to ensure his claim to rule. He was known as an extravagant and cruel leader. But he redeemed himself by his generosity to his friends and the poor, by his passion in adorning India with some of its most beautiful architecture, and by his devotion to his wife Mumtaz Mahal - "Ornament of the Palace." He had married her when he was 21, when he already had two children by an earlier consort. Mumtaz gave her husband 14 children in eighteen years, and died at the age of 39 during the birth of the final child. Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a monument to her memory and her fertility, but then relapsed into a life of scandalous behavior. This tomb was only one of hundreds of beautiful buildings that Shah Jahan erected, mostly at Agra and in the new Dehli that came into being under his planning.

Many architects have rated it as the most perfect of all buildings standing on earth. Three artists designed it: a Persian, an Italian, and a Frenchman. But the design is completely Mohammedan. Even the skilled artisans who built it were brought in from Baghdad, Constantinople, and other centers of the Muslim faith. For 22 years more than 20,000 workmen were forced to build the Taj. The Maharaja of Jaipur sent the marble as a gift to Shah Jahan. The building and its surroundings cost more than $200,000,000 in todays currency.

Passing through a high wall, one comes suddently upon the Taj - raised upon a marble platform, and framed on either side by handsome mosques and stately minarets. In the foreground spacious gardens enclose a pool in whose waters the inverted palace becomes a quivering dream. Every portion of the structure is of white marble, precious metals, or costly stones. The building is a complex figure of twelve sides, four of which are portals. A slender minaret rises at each corner, and the roof is a massive spired dome. The main entrance, once guarded with solid silver gates, is a maze of marble embroidery; inlaid in the wall in jeweled script are qotations from the Koran, one of which invites the "pure in heart" to enter "the gardens of Paradise."

Shah Jahan had begun his reign by killing his brothers; but he had neglected to kill his sons, one of whom was destined to overthrow him. In 1657 his son Aurangzeb led an insurrection from the Deccan. Aurangzeb defeated all the forces sent against him, captured his father, and imprisoned him in the Fort of Agra. For 9 bitter years the deposed emperor lingered there, never visited by his son, attended only by his faithful daughter Jahanara, and spending his days looking from the Jasmine Tower of his prison across the Jumna to where his once-beloved Mumtaz lay in her jeweled tomb.
The new emperor Aurangzeb was a more pious Muslim than his father Shah Jahan had been. He memorized the entire Koran, spent days in fasts, and campaigned against infidelity. He cared little for luxuries, but, paradoxically, gave the world one of its most perfect works of art: a marble screen inside the Taj Mahal. Native and European thieves robbed the tomb of its abundant jewels, and of the gold railing, encrusted with precious stones, that once enclosed the sarcophagi of Shah Jahan and his Queen. Aurangzeb replaced the railing with an octagonal screen of almost transparent marble, carved into a miracle of alabaster lace. Few products of human art have ever surpassed the beauty of this screen.
From afar the Taj Mahal, with its delicate details, is not imposing. Only a nearer view reveals that its perfection has no proportion to its size. When in our hurried times, we see enormous structures of a hundred stories raised in a year, and then consider how 20,000 men worked for 22 years on this little tomb, hardly a hundred feet high, we begin to sense the difference between industry and art. And perhaps more importantly, we sense the ultimate lesson it offers: beauty and that which lasts, is based on love.
Adapted from:
Our Oriental Heritage, Will Durant, Simon and Schuster, 1954
http://www.imahal.com/about/taj_mahal.htm
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Old June 16th, 2012, 07:24 PM   #15
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A lot of marble which was used to build the Taj Mahal(like the interior depicted here) was brought from Rajasthan.


http://www.tracyanddale.50megs.com/I...mages/taj2.jpg


http://img2.allposters.com/images/RHPOD/17-2543.jpg


http://www.cultureledger.com/wp-cont...-Taj-Mahal.jpg
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Old June 16th, 2012, 07:30 PM   #16
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One of the many legends/myth involving the Taj.

Quote:
Italian Architect of Taj Mahal Myth

The Taj Mahal of Agra that has been illuminating heavenly for the past three centuries and more, and attracting and inspiring millions of people from across the world. It was built up by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who wanted his beloved wife to be remembered by one and all, with help of architectural geniuses like Ustad Isa, Isa Mohammad Effendi and Puru of Persia. The result that came across was a fine piece of Mughal architecture, fused with Persian, Islamic, and Indian architectural styles; or is believed so by many. Who is Geronimo Veroneo then? From where did he originate and why is he even in the frame? The myth or legend surrounding the Taj Mahal has it that it was built by an Italian architect by the name of Geronimo Veroneo, who is believed to have lived in Agra for many years and died in Lahore in 1640. How much substance is in this theory, we'll read about in paragraphs to come.

The theory of a Venetian named Geronimo Veroneo being the architect of Taj Mahal has often been touted by a few European scholars, particularly the historians of Italy who claim Taj being designed by an Italian architect. The first person to suggest this theory of an Italian Architect of the Taj Mahal was a Spanish monk by the name of Father Sebastian Manrique, an Augustinian Friar whose purpose in India was to secure the release of Father Antony, who was being held as a prisoner by the Mughals in Lahore. And it was here in Lahore that he met the executor of Geronimo, named Father Joseph De Castro. It was Castro who told Father Sebastian about a famous Venetian jeweler who came to India in the Portuguese ships but died on his way in Lahore and was later buried in the Roman Catholic Cemetery Padres Santos in Agra.

This is the only connection that both Geronimo Veroneo and Father Sebastian Manrique had with India and doesn't prove anything beyond that they were in India at some point of time when Taj Mahal was being constructed. There are other loopholes in the theory that prove that there was no Italian connection to the Taj Mahal in any which way. First, the name Geronimo Veroneo does not appear in any of the contemporary Persian sources that carry names of various artisans who worked on Taj Mahal. And second, many Europeans who passed through Agra during the construction of Taj Mahal only mention Geronimo Veroneo as a skilled jeweler in their travelogues. Moreover, Shah Jahan, whose one title among the many was "the builder of the marvels" is known have been actively involved in the construction of Taj Mahal and coordinated everything. Lastly, it is difficult to accept that an artist trained in Italy, could build a tomb as per Indo-Persian architecture.
http://www.tajmahal.org.uk/legends/i...architect.html
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Old June 16th, 2012, 07:32 PM   #17
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Asymmetric Taj Mahal Myth

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The beauty of the ever graceful and magnificent Taj Mahal has always had admirers watch and praise in awe, and the symmetry of it has always had the architects from world across speculate and contemplate as to how this could have been done on such a massive scale. From the Persian style gardens divided into perfect four by four formations to the equidistant minarets, from identical looking twin buildings on each side of the main mausoleum (mosque and rest house) to the similar patterned lotus design on each of the chhattris (umbrella style design that is a part of the main mausoleum, the mosque, and the rest house), Taj Mahal is any designer's Mecca. But, in this sea of symmetry, if there's one thing that stands out from the crowd or seems not in accordance with rest of the plan is the cenotaph of the Shah Jahan, the man who perceived this monument in the first place.

While the cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal sits perfectly at the centre of the chamber, it is the cenotaph of Shah Jahan, which appears to be squeezed in rather than planned and is also a little higher than the cenotaph of her wife. It is this asymmetry from where the myth or legend of asymmetrical Taj originates. There are two versions of the story that somehow seem to combine together at the end, but as there is no hard evidence to suggest the surety of either, both of them prevail and the legend goes on. According to the first one, Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb was a devout Muslim, and since the holy book of Quran forbids any kind of ostentation at the time of death, he didn't approve of his father's wish to build Taj in the first place. For this reason, some theorists believe that the cenotaph of Shah Jahan was placed by his son Aurangzeb, without caring much about the symmetry.

Another section of theorists believe that the cenotaph of Shah Jahan was never meant to be placed alongside the cenotaph of his wife as it would have disrupted the whole symmetry of the central and the burial chamber. Rather, they believe that Shah Jahan meant to construct another Taj Mahal, in black, on the opposite side of the river, where the Mehtab garden currently exists. The claims are due to the reason that Mehtab garden, more than a garden, bears a look of an abandoned plan as remains of black marble have been found. And since Shah Jahan, in the last years of his life was deposed by Aurangzeb and was put under house arrest, the plan to build another Taj couldn't proceed. And after Shah Jahan's death, Aurangzeb, haphazardly buried his him alongside his Mumtaz's cenotaph, thereby ruining the otherwise perfect symmetry of the Taj Mahal.
http://www.tajmahal.org.uk/legends/asymmetric-taj.html
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Old June 16th, 2012, 07:35 PM   #18
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Theft in Taj Mahal Myth

Quote:
It is believed that when Taj Mahal first saw the light of the day, the precious, semi precious, and other priceless decorative items it was adorned with, shone as if the stars themselves came down to bask it in a heavenly glory. As many as 28 kinds of rare stones and metals were used in the inlay work in the Taj Mahal. And as per the "theft in Taj Mahal" myth, over the course of time, particularly during the British rule, many of the items of that were originally a part of Taj Mahal went missing in the later years. While, it is true that some items were removed from Taj, the theft of a number of other items is more of a legend.

Some of the items that form a part of the "legend of Taj Mahal theft" are:
A gold leaf that is said to have covered all or a part of the Taj dome
A golden railing believed to have surrounded the cenotaphs
Diamonds supposed to be inlaid in the cenotaphs
A Pearl blanket allegedly covering Mumtaz's cenotaph
The items that were indeed stolen from the Taj include:
An entrance door of carved jasper
Gold leaf covering the cast iron joints of the jali screen around the cenotaphs
Numerous rich carpets that covered the tomb's interior
Enameled lamps from the tomb's interior
However, at the end of 19th century, the government under the orders of British Viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a restoration project that got completed in 1908. Although many of the precious stones that were stolen couldn't be placed back, whatever was in the possibility was restored back. A large lamp, the light of which is never supposed to go out was placed in the interior chamber of the Taj Mahal. It is believed to be modeled after the one in the Cairo Mosque.
http://www.tajmahal.org.uk/legends/theft-in-taj.html
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Old June 16th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #19
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Theft in Taj Mahal Myth

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Raved as one fine example of Mughal architecture with a style that brought Persian, Islamic, and Indian architectural elements together into one place and merged them to form the ever wonderful Taj Mahal, it is believed that the monument is one of a kind and that no other monument of the world comes even close to its magnanimity. But there's one myth that completely dismisses the theory of it being Mughal at all. On the contrary, this myth states that Taj Mahal was once a palace built in 4th century AD and belonged to a Rajput king, but was later taken over by Shah Jahan who remodeled it as Taj Mahal. Although there are no evidences to support this myth, it has developed somewhat of a following that believes this to be true. One such believer is Professor P.N. Oak of New Delhi who has even mentioned this, so called, fact in his book on the Taj Mahal.

P. N. Oak claimed that timeline of Taj Mahal and other historic structures in the country that are linked to the Mughals go back before Mughals even occupied India and thus, have Hindu origins. However, in the year 2000 the Supreme Court of India dismissed any P. N. Oak's petition that Taj Mahal was built by a Hindu king and even reprimanded him for bringing the action. What caused this theory to come across is unknown but a sect of historians believes that a Rajput palace did exist long before Shah Jahan came into the picture. Also, the fact that Shah Jahan purchased the piece of land where the Taj Mahal stands now, from a Rajput family gives rise to the speculations as to whether the Taj Mahal was built from the scratch or is just a remodeled structure of a Rajputana palace.
http://www.tajmahal.org.uk/legends/taj-a-palace.html
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Old June 16th, 2012, 07:38 PM   #20
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http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_ezvIB7AH9L.../taj-mahal.jpg
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