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  • You are standing at the most iconic destination in India; the Taj Mahal. The building, with

  • its white shining marble, is actually one of the most iconic destinations in the world.

  • The Taj Mahal has been voted into "the seven new wonders of the world"-list and is visited

  • by millions of people each year. While many think Taj Mahal refers to the white

  • marble mausoleum, the Taj Mahal is actually the whole structural complex. In order to enter

  • the Taj Mahal you pass through the gateway building which leads into the garden. The

  • raised marble water tank between the gatehouse and the mausoleum is called "al Hawd al-Kawthar",

  • in reference to the "Tank of Abundance" promised to Muhammad -- Prophet of Islam. In addition

  • to the mausoleum, Taj Mahal is made up of a mosque to the west and a mimic building

  • to the east. The eastern building's purpose was to provide architectural balance or possibly

  • serve as a guesthouse. Surrounding the main mausoleum stands four minarets. These were

  • used in traditional mosques to call Islamic faithful to prayer. While these towers were

  • designed as working minarets, they further displaying the designer's desire for perfect

  • symmetry. So what's the story behind this amazing place?

  • Why was it built and by who? The story behind Taj Mahal starts when the

  • Mughal emperor to be, Shan Jahan, met a Persian nobles daughter, Arjumand Banu. They quickly

  • fell in love and married five years later. By then, Shan Jahan already had two wives,

  • but Arjumand would become his favorite wife. When Shan Jahan became the emperor in 1628,

  • he bestowed her with the title "Mumtaz Mahal" -- meaning "Jewel of the Temple".

  • When Mumtaz Mahal died while giving birth to their 14th child, in 1631, Shan Jahan was

  • devastated. Some say" The Taj", as it is sometimes referred to, was built as a last request from

  • his wife while others say it was simply a way to honor her. Either way, Shan Jahan gave

  • the order to build what would be one of the most magnificent tombs ever -- one certainly

  • worthy of his very own "Jewel of the Temple". One year after the death of his beloved wife,

  • the construction of the Taj Mahal began. The name Taj Mahal further shows the emperors

  • dedicating and love for his lost wife. "Taj" is a Hindu origin and means "crown" while

  • "Mahal" refers to the title he bestowed his wife. Thus, "Taj Mahal" translates to "The

  • Crown of Mahal", which is certainly a fitting name.

  • The Taj Mahal was constructed using materials from all over India and Asia and over 1,000

  • elephants were used to transport building materials. The work force was made up of over

  • 20.000 men and Shan Jahan had the best sculptors, calligraphers and stonecutters from all over

  • asia and the middle east recruited in order to build the Taj Mahal. The main building

  • was completed 26 years later, in 1648, and the whole building complex as such 1953.

  • The Taj Mahal architecture combines styles from Persian, Indian and Islamic designs.

  • It is by many seen as the crown jewel of Muslim art in India. The dome, which has gotten the

  • nickname "the onion dome" due to its looks, stands 35 meters tall. The dome is crowned

  • by a bronze finial with Persian and Hindu decorative elements.

  • The calligraphy and the other decorative elements found on the outside of the main building

  • are some of the finest you can find. Much of the writing on the building is composed of varieties

  • of Islamic calligraphy scripts, made of jasper or black marble, inlaid in white marble panels.

  • The writings often have influence or are taken directly from passages in the Qur'an.

  • The calligraphy on the Great Gate reads "O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord

  • at peace with Him, and He at peace with you." Today, both Shan Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal rest

  • inside the main building. One might think their sarcophagi are in the main chamber,

  • but these are actually false graves. Their sarcophagi lie next to each other beneath

  • the inner chamber with their faces turned right and towards Mecca. Due to Muslim tradition

  • forbidding elaborate decoration of graves, their graves are relatively plain and simple,

  • in contrast to the tomb building surrounding them.

You are standing at the most iconic destination in India; the Taj Mahal. The building, with

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    阿多賓 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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