Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is undoubtedly the most famous work of art in all of India and Asian culture in general. Located on the outskirts of Agra, about a hundred and seventy kilometers from the Indian capital, the imposing building was built by the Mughal emperor Sha Jahan between 1630 as a burial mausoleum for his wife the beautiful Mumtaz Mahal dilating the works for almost twenty years, until 1648.


In reality, the Taj Mahal has a funerary structure larger than the mausoleum itself, since the latter forms part of an enormous rectangular space that is delimited by a crenellated wall on three of its sides while the room is delimited by the river Yamuna. Even outside the walls, the funerary space is complemented by some minor mausoleums such as those of the rest of the monarch's wives.

It is precisely on the banks of the river that the Mahal mausoleum stands, but to reach it the viewer must cross a kind of atrium at the bottom of which is an imposing monumental door– darwaza- gives access to the interior of the enclosure. At first the doors that formed the darwaza were made of silver but in the 18th century they were melted down.

Already inside, the Taj Mahal is preceded by exquisite gardens with ponds and ditches flanked by rows of cypress trees, the Mongolian tradition of including beautiful gardens in their buildings as representationsfrom the Garden of Paradise comes from the Persian culture and was incorporated by the first Mongolian monarch. On the sides of the main building, two similar constructions were erected: one was a mosque clerk and the other is thought to have been used as a kind of palace for guests.

The main building, raised on a kind of square platform with towers at each corner, is preceded by a small porch typical of Persian and Mongolian architecture, the iwan. The construction was made of noble materials, white marble that is complemented by colored stone inlays. The ground plan of the building is a square chamfered at its corners, so it ends up being configured as an octagon; the design and composition have been well studied.

The outer wall of the building is articulated through a large Mongolian-type arch whose spandrels are decorated with precious stones; Around the arch, Koranic inscriptions that refer to heaven, hell… Flanking this main arch, other smaller double-height arches complete the construction scheme of each of the façades.

Special mention deserves the huge bulbous dome that stands on an imposing drum seven meters high; Around it, four small temples end in the same type of dome but smaller. The main dome is decorated with plant motifs and is finished off with a kind of golden needle that ends in a crescent moon whose points look upwards and together with the top of theneedle forms a trident, the symbol of the Hindu god Shiva.

Inside, the octagonal-shaped central room stands out, which houses the tomb of Mumtaz and that of the monarch, this was added later, so it is not well integrated into the complex, but appears displaced to one side.

The Taj Mahal is one of the most visited monuments in the world both for its artistic and architectural value and for the romantic legend that surrounds its construction. UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1983 and today it is part of the list of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

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