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Taj Mahal – Refined Elegance

The Taj Mahal: Symbol of India, architectural jewel, and monument to a grand passion.

We take a closer look at the Taj Mahal and revisit its history – why it was built and what meaning it possessess.

Built in the 17th century by the Great Mogul Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal was built in honor of the love of his life, Mumtaz Mahal. Built on the banks of the Yamuna River in Agra, it is said to have required over 20,000 workers including the best craftsmen of the Empire. Millions of bricks were baked on site only to disappear forever under flawless white marble. A heavenly memorial to the Queen of the World, or as a poet described it: “A teardrop on the cheek of time”. A love poem set in stone and the most perfect building in the world.

… the monument sums up many of the formal themes that have played through Islamic architecture. Its refined elegance is a conspicuous contrast both to the Hindu architecture of pre-Islamic India, with its thick walls, corbeled arches, and heavy lintels, and to the Indo-Islamic styles, in which Hindu elements are combined with an eclectic assortment of motifs from Persian and Turkish sources.” (Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture: from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. p223.)

 

Read more about the show at NatGeo’s Website: http://natgeotv.com/asia/secrets-of-the-taj-mahal/about

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