Monday, September 10, 2007

Taj - architectural marvel

A very different view of Taj from the red fort in Agra. Also most impressive and therefore most published frontal image of Taj.
Let me tell you an interesting element about the lay out of the Taj complex. The Taj mahal complex is a rectangular garden divided into four with rectangular segments (divided by the streams running inside). These gardens are depictions of the paradise as per Islamic beliefs. In the current lay out the tomb is at the end of the garden. Most mughal gardens will have the tomb at the centre of the garden. Taj seemed to be a deviation. But archeologists recently discovered the 'moonlight garden' at the other side of the Yamuna which is supposed to be part of the complex (Design of the garden looked so similar to the one on the Taj side of the river). If you add that to the complex, the tomb is still in the center, with the Yamuna becoming one of the natural streams in the garden.

I have seen Taj to be a marvel in its conception. Very vivdly conceived and then architected. I would say even before the first brick was layed its timelessness was assured. Look at the very fundamental elements in its archietcture - built along the river side, built on a platform such that it gives a sense of hanging in the sky, the colors varying with the day, built on the mild bent of the river such that you can view miles away to different directions, and then the lay out itself... Add to that other elements of mughal gardens.

We dont know if Shajahan was planning another Taj on the other side of the river meant for himself. If materialised it will be a mosoleum for himself.. thus both Mumtaz and Shajahan resting on either side of the river.

No comments: