Often considered as the most beautiful monument ever created, the Taj Mahal is Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s tribute to his beloved wife, Mumtaz. It is located on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra. This mausoleum of white marble represents a haunting story of love. It also represents the artistic and scientific developments of the wealthy Mughal Empire.
The construction started in the year 1632. And by 1643, the initial mausoleum emerged. But, work continued on the other parts of the building for another 10 years. It took almost 22,000 employees to shape this beautiful monument. Also, there were painters, stonecutters, embroidery artists, and many more. The Taj Mahal considered a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983 and widely regarded as the finest example of Mughal architecture.
Indeed, the construction of this masterpiece based on its architecture and design. We will discuss the concept of symbolism used here. The Mughal Empire’s symbolic architecture reached its peak under Shah Jahan. The Taj Mahal conceived from a verse of a poet Bibadal Khan, as a house departed from paradise. Even though this theme is prevalent in Mughal architecture but detailed designs of all these elements make it unique.
The symbolic significance of the Hindu caste-systems, white-stones with Brahmins and red-stones with Kshatriyas found in this beautiful monument. The sunlight’s reflection constantly changing on the translucent white marble indicates the presence of God in the form of light. The interior of the Taj Mahal has a resonance time of 28 seconds. It provides the words to linger around the air for those who pray for Mumtaz’s soul.
The Garden of Paradise In The Beautiful Monument
This concept came from the Timurid Dynasty of Persia by the early Mughals. These gardens mainly derived from Islamic texts. They considered paradise as gardens filled with flowers, plants, trees. Water played an important role. According to Islam, there are four rivers that flow from a central point on the mountain. In their idle form, they arrange to form a square divided into four equal parts. The tombs of the previous Mughal Emperors follow this structure. But, in the case of the Taj Mahal, different kinds of gardens were developed to meet the specific Indian conditions.
However, this beautiful monument has a linear terrace located near the river banks. Here, low-leveled rooms set below the main building’s opening on the river. Basically, the central part of these gardens is “Al Hawd al-Kawthar” which means the “basin of abundance.” This is to soothe the thrust for those who arrived in paradise. According to Muslim traditions, a garden is a source of refreshment thus symbolizing happiness with paradise.
Finally, Taj Mahal is perhaps the finest example of what we humans can do or should do. Almost 7-8 million people visit every year to get a glimpse of this beautiful monument. It represents the value of love, culture, and development. But, most importantly it teaches us the acceptance of the afterlife.