The Taj Mahal
In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. A year after this happened, construction of the Taj Mahal began. Taj Mahal means the’ Place of the Crown’ because; Taj means “Crown” and Mahal means “place”.
The Taj Mahal is an example of Mughal architecture. The style of Mughal architecture combines elements from Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles. The Taj Mahal consists of white marble inlayed with semi-precious stones. The exterior of the Taj Mahal is very stylized and decorative. The surface area changes the decorations are refined proportionally. The decorative elements were created by applying paint, stucco, stone inlays, or carvings. Because of the Islamic prohibition of the décor or human form, the decorative elements can be grouped into calligraphy, abstract forms or vegetative motifs. The calligraphy that is found on the exterior of the Taj Mahal was created by a calligrapher named Abd ul-Haq, in 1609. Near the lines from the Qur'an at the base of the interior dome is the inscription, "Written by the insignificant being, Amanat Khan Shirazi.” Abstract forms are used throughout, especially in the plinth, minarets, gateway, mosque, jawab and on the surfaces of the tomb. The domes and vaults of the sandstone buildings are worked with tracery of incised painting to create elaborate geometric forms.
In the interior of the Taj Mahal, each chamber wall has been highly decorated with dado low relief, intricate lapidary inlay and refined calligraphy panels, reflecting in miniature detail the design elements seen throughout the exterior of the complex. The octagonal marble screen (jail) which borders the cenotaphs is made from eight marble panels which have been carved through with intricate pierce work. The remaining surfaces have been inlaid in delicate detail with...