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Taj Mahal

 


The Taj Mahal... a story of love and beauty, a tear on the cheek of time, a philosophical stance, a great archaeological site, and a miracle, in engineering and construction, it is a jewel of Indian Islamic art and cultural heritage, and one of the greatest and most wonderful Mughal monuments remaining in India, built by emperor Shah Jahan in Agra, today it is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

place and history 

The city of Agra is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, about two hundred kilometers south of New Delhi, the capital of India. The first Muslim ruler of India to use it as his headquarters was Sultan Bahlul Lodhi, the founder of the Lodhi dynasty. In India in the year 1451 AD, he founded a beautiful city there and called it Abadal Kadhab.

. Then emperor Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur, the founder of the Mughal Sultanate in India, made it his headquarters, he planted lush gardens there and built important vital facilities, then emperor Jalal al-Din Akbar made it the capital of the government, Indian Mongols, and he built a fortified and lofty fortress there known as the Red Fort, because it was built of carved red stones, and he called it Akbarabad, which was one of the most famous and best cities in India after the city of Delhi at that time. 

Emperor Shah Jahan

Emperor Shah Jahan was born in 1592 AD, the son of King Nur al-Din Muhammad Salim, known as Jahangir ( Conqueror of the World) 1628 - 1658, he was characterized by his broad mind, intelligence, and strength of determination, until his grandfather was Emperor Jalal al-Din Akbar (1556 - 1605), he is very proud of him, and his father, King Jehangir, entrusted him with the government of the Deccan, his rule was full of events, he expanded the Mongol borders by occupying parts of the Deccan Plateau, and the Deccan region includes... 

Southern and western regions of India, including today the entire state of Karnataka and a large part of Andhra Pradesh Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu to the south.   

When King Jahangir died, Shah Jahan assumed power, after defeating the opponents and revolutionaries in Year 1628. his era was characterized by luxury, construction and prosperity, the likes of which India had never witnessed before.

He was an experienced ruler whose rule was characterized by extreme firmness with his men and workers and his watchful, care of his subjects. he monitored their actions, held them accountable, and did not hesitate to punish the wrongdoers among them.

. He was religious and adhered to the rituals of Islam, he honored scholars and writers and brought them closer, and he sent gifts and donations annually to the poor. Hejaz and the scholars and nobles of the Holy Lands.

The great Indian historian Abd al-Ha'i al-Hasani mentions in his book The Gardens of the East the beginning of the eastern light known as India in the era. Islamic:

 He removed injustices from the country, reconstructed it, and put down strife and heresy. 

He founded mosques and associations, and was very charitable to masters and people of knowledge. people from all countries came to him, and he showered them with his benevolence, his era was the best of ages and his time was the brightest of all times.

. Shah Jahan's era was a time of flourishing architecture and arts, and his court was a popular destination for artists and painters from Asia and Europe, many monuments are attributed to him. among his beautiful monuments are the city of Shahjahanabad, the Red Fort, Shalimar Bagh, the Jama Masjid in Delhi, and other buildings. Multiple luxurious and majestic palaces in Lahore and Agra.

He loved science and encouraged writing, the scholar Abdul Karim Al-Sialkoti mentions that he wrote many books under his command, and for one year he used to give him one hundred thousand rupees. Except for rewards and inclusion in his council.

The story of love and marriage

Princess Arjumand Bano Begum was born in Lahore (a well-known city located in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan today) in 1593 AD, she was from a noble Persian family, and her father was Nawab Asif Khan, the chief commander of the Mongol army, who was titled With Ayman Al-Dawlab, the princess was beautiful, rare, beautiful, and insightful.

One day, Shah Jahan was walking around with a group of guards, and he saw Arjmand Banu Begum, when Shah Jahan saw her, he fell in love with her at first sight, he proposed to her in 1607 AD, and officially married her after five years in 1612 AD, the most popular love story in the world began.

Princess Arjmand became a favorite of Sultan Shah Jahan, so much so that he gave her the name Imtaz Mahlab (Jewel of the Palace), she was his first political advisor, as he consulted her on all matters and followed her advice, as he had entrusted her with By keeping the royal seal.

. She was the companion of Emperor Shah Jahan in all his military missions and on hunting, picnics, and reconnaissance trips through the forests and deserts, she is the wife he trusted most among his wives, as she traveled with him to all parts of the Mongol empire.

She is the wife he trusted most among his wives, as she .traveled with him to all parts of the Mongol empire

Death of Queen Mumtaz Maha

In 1630 AD, Mumtaz Mahal accompanied her husband, Emperor Sultan Shah Jahan, to Burhanpur on his last trip. Before her death, she had a combat campaign in the Deccan Plateau. She was pregnant, so she fell ill while giving birth to her last daughter, her fourteenth, the pain of childbirth began, so she asked her daughter, princess Jahan Arā’ Begum, to inform emperor Shah Jahan, and he arrive, he went to her bed, immediately, and he looked at her with a final helpless look. She begged him to show sympathy to her children and parents, She took her last breath in the arms of her loyal and intimate husband on Wednesday, June 17, 1631 AD in Burhanpur. He was very disgusted and saddened by her .death  

After the death of his wife, Mumtaz, King Shah Jahan isolated himself for a full year, and in 1632 AD he appeared gray hair has covered his head, his back has bent, and his face has become pale, but his eldest daughter, Princess Jehan, Begum, .gradually brought him out of that critical state

Mumtaz Mahal was initially buried in Burhanpur, but Burhanpur was not the place her husband wanted to be immortalized. It contains her memory, and accordingly her body was transported in a golden coffin on Friday, December 12, 1631, from Burhanpur, he arrived in the city of Agra on January 9, 1632 AD, it was placed in a small building on the banks of the Yamuna River, after which King Shah Jahan decided to build The most luxurious mausoleum in the world to contain the remains of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, to commemorate her, and to be a monument to love and beauty. Unparalleled in the .world          

    Taj Mahal architecture

 The Taj Mahal is a magnificent mausoleum and a giant building, overlooking the shore of the Yamuna River in the city of Agra, which was the capital, Muslim Mongol sultans in the seventeenth century AD.  

. It is considered the jewel of Indian Islamic architecture, and Emperor Shah Jahan reviewed Islamic architecture a lot when he wanted to build it, where this civilization had a great influence on the Indian subcontinent, he expressed his hopes and ideas regarding the proposed shrine building, saying: 

If a person takes refuge in this place immersed in sins, he will be cleansed of his sins, just as his sins are forgiven, and if the sinner takes refuge in this palace, they will be erased, all his previous sins, looking at this palace leaves a feeling of sadness in the heart, this building was built in this world to .display the greatness and power of the creator   

In the early twentieth century, India's Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore described the monument Saying: 

Do you know Shah Jahan? His life, his youth, his money, and his glory are gone with the passage of time, you struggle and make your heart sad, the shine is gone The jewel, the pearl and the coral, but the Taj Mahal is a tear on the cheek of time .for ever 

Work on building the Taj Mahal took approximately twenty-two years, and consumed a lot of the state treasury, emperor Shah Jahan named it the Taj Mahal (the crown of the palace), named after his wife Mumtaz Mahal, although their love story ended with the death of her husband in 1631 AD, when Shah Jahan died in 1666 AD, his body was placed in a shrine next to the shrine of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

 This is how their story was embodied in this huge building, to be a living example of eternal love.  

Design and construction

The planning phase for building the shrine building took two full years, and an elite group of people participated in building this great edifice Architects around the world, under the supervision of Emperor Shah Jahan himself. 

The main engineer who designed the Taj Mahal was the Indian engineer Ahmed Lahori, including Ismail Effendi, the designer of the main dome, and Issa Muhammad Effendi, who had a major role in Persian architectural art, as well as the main calligrapher He is Amanat Ali Khan Shirazi, who wrote Qur’anic verses in a wonderful and fantastic style. 

. The great Indian historian Abdul-Hai al-Hasani mentions the verses of the Qur’an engraved in the luxurious mosaics on the .interior walls and what not, countless exquisite engravings 

It was built of white marble, which changes color due to the reflection of sunlight or moonlight on its surface, this marble is inlaid with semi-precious stones, such as: turquoise, lapis lazuli, lime, jade, and crystal.

Based on Islamic principles, the Taj Mahal was mainly composed of domes and minarets, and it reached a great central height of 73 cubits, and its wings had four small domes, and four minarets in the trunk.

Verses of the Holy Qur’an were written on the arched entrances of the shrine, they ask for the home page, which is made of red stone, inside, it contains a room containing the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal and the tomb of her husband, king Shah Jahan, it is a room on the garden level, made of marble, .and decorated with carvings and semi-precious stones    

What distinguishes the Taj Mahal is that the materials that went into its construction were brought from different regions around the world, transparent white marble was brought from Rajasthan, jade from Punjab, crystal from China, and turquoise from Tibet, rubies from Sri Lanka, and garnets from the .Arabian Peninsula

 

In fact, white marble was combined with 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones that were used in it Nearly 1,000 elephants were transported, and the total cost of building the Taj Mahal amounted to approximately 31 million rupees. at that .time

Some facilities and buildings with different functions have been founded around the Taj Mahal, including a garden and a .mosque and guest accommodation

Taj Mahal Garden

It is a square garden divided into long quarters filled with water called the Char Bagh Garden, extending from the main gate, for the location of the Taj Mahal to the mausoleum. 

In the middle of the garden, between the northern and southern sides, there are lakes that reflect the image of the shrine, the marble water tank was called Al-Kawthar, regarding the Al-Kawthar Basin, the garden landscape designs changed .during the era of the British Indian government  

The Mosque: 

The mosque is located on the western side of the Taj Mahal site, and was built with red sandstone Small in size, but great in its beauty and splendor, it resembles the mosque in Delhi.

Guest accommodation: 

This building is located on the eastern side of the Taj Mahal site, opposite the mosque, the guest accommodation or rest .house is known as Jamaat Khana in local dialect

The construction of this building may create a balance between the architecture and buildings in the Taj Mahal complex, in terms of construction, its construction is very similar to that of a mosque, but it is not used for worship.      

  

Twenty thousand people participated in its construction, and their diversity was reflected in the inscriptions used in the construction They came from various parts of India, Persia, Europe, and the Ottoman Empire, in addition to Iran, Syria, Turkey, andTwenty thousand people participated in its construction, and their diversity was reflected in the inscriptions used in the construction they came from various parts of India, Persia, Europe, and the Ottoman Empire, in addition to Iran, Syria, Turkey, and  Central Asia. 

. It combines Indian, Persian and Islamic art. this massive structure is one of the most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture, a list of 671 names was found carved into a sand wall on the north side of the river, it is believed that this list was engraved by the sculptors themselves, who contributed to the construction process and to commemorate their names throughout history. .     

The Taj Mahal in the British era

After the Taj Mahal had been in use for hundreds of years and was not taken care of, parts of it collapsed at the turn of the century nineteenth

In view of preserving the cultural and artistic heritage of India, Lord Curzon, Governor-General, issued the British Viceroy of India (1905 - 1899) issued a decree to restore the shrine, returning it to its previous state, and supervised the design and installation of the great lamp in the inner room In 1983 AD,  (UNESCO) listed it as a World Heritage Site, count the Taj Mahal.

It is still one of the most famous structures in the world, one of the most beautiful examples of world heritage, and a jewel of .Islamic art in India

Today, the Taj Mahal is one of the most important monuments that attracts tourists from inside and outside India who visit it More than 200 thousand tourists annually from outside India, .and approximately 2 to 4 million visitors throughout the year

       

 

 

   

   

        

     

 


      

 

    

  

      

 

 

 

 

 

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