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BETTER SCHOOLS Essay, Research Paper

Taj Mahal

It has been called the most beautiful temple in the world. It has become the monument of a man?s love for a woman. Does anyone want to guess what I am talking about here? Anyone? Yeah..

And guess what?tonight I am going to inform you about, one, the historical significance, second, the construction and finally the awesome beauty that undoubtedly make the Taj Mahal one of most spectacular buildings of the world.

First of all lets begin with the history behind the taj. In 1612, Mumtaz Mahal was married to Shah Jehan, a mughal emperor. This marriage although the emperor?s second, was a real love match, and Mumtaz was her husband?s inseparable companion on all his journeys and military expeditions. She was his comrade, his counselor, and inspired him to acts of charity and benevolence towards the week and the needy. She bore the emperor 14 children, and died in the year 1630. Overpowered by grief, Shah Jehan was determined to perpetuate her memory for immortality and decided to build his beloved wife a finest monument of eternal love. It was Shah Jehan?s everlasting love for Mumtaz that led to the genesis of the Taj Mahal. The sad circumstances, which attended the early death of the empress who had endeared herself to the people, inspired all his subjects to join in the emperor?s pious intensions.

Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to work on it. The building material was brought from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport it to the site. The Taj was designed by an architect from Iran, named Istad Usa, and it is best appreciated when the architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion that inspired it. It is a ?symbol of eternal love?. The Taj rises on a high red sandstone base topped by a huge white marble terrace on which rests the famous dome flanked by four tapering minarets. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid casket of the queen. So exquisite is the workmanship that the Taj has been described as ?having been designed by giants and finished by jewelers.? The only asymmetrical object in the taj is the casket of the emperor, which was built besides the queen?s after his death.

As a tribute to a beautiful woman and as a monument for enduring love, the Taj reveals its subtleties when one visits it without being in a hurry. The rectangular base of the Taj is in itself symbolic of the different sides from which to view a beautiful woman. The main gate is like a veil to a women?s face, which should be lifted delicately, gently and without haste on the wedding night. In Indian tradition the veil is lifted gently to reveal the beauty of the bride. As one stands inside the main gate of the Taj, his eyes are directed to an arch, that frames the Taj.

The dome is made of white marble and is set against the plain across a river and it is this background that works its magic of colors that, through their reflection, change the view of the Taj. The colors change at different hours of the day and during different seasons.

Like a jewel, the Taj sparkles in moon light when the semi-precious stones in-laid into the white marble on the main mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. The Taj is pink in color in the morning, milky in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes people say, depict the different moods of a woman. Different people have different views of the Taj but it would be enough to say that it has a life of its own that leaps out of the marble, provided you understand that it is a monument of love. As an architectural masterpiece, nothing can be added or subtracted from it.

The Taj is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular buildings of the world. Renowned for its history, architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty, it counts among man?s proudest creations and is invariably included in the list of world?s foremost wonders. As a tomb, it has no match upon earth, for mortal remains have never been housed in greater grandeur.

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