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Irsyadi Nafis
Fakultas Teknik Perminyakan
Universitas Proklamasi 45 Yogyakarta

Located at the city of Agra in the States of Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful masterpieces of architecture in the world. Agra, situated about 200 km south of New Delhi, was the Capital of the Mughals (Mogul), the Muslim Emperors who ruled Northern India between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Mughals were the descendents of two of the most skilled warriors in history : the Turks and the Mongols. The Mughal dynasty reached its highest strength and fame during the reign og their early Emperors, Akbar, Jehangir, and Shah Jehan.
It was Shah Jehan who ordered the building of the Taj, in honor of his wife, Arjumand Banu who later became known as Mumtaz Mahal, the Distinguished of the Palace. Mumtaz and Shah Jehan were married in 1612 and, over the next 18 years, had 14 children together. The Empress used to accompany her husband in his military campaigns, and it was in 1630, in Burhanpur, that she gave birth to her last child, for she died in childbirth. So great was the Emperor love to his wife that he ordered the building of the most beautiful mausoleum on Earth for her.
Although it is not known for sure who planned the Taj, the name of an Indian architect or Persian descent, Ustad Ahmad Lahori, has been cited in many sources. As soon as construction began in 1630, masons, craftsmen, sculptors, and calligraphers were summoned from Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Europe to work on the masterpiece. The site was chosen near the Capital, Agra on the southwest bank of the River Yamuna. The architectural complex is comprised of five main elements : the Darwaza or main gateway, the Bageecha or garden, the Masjid or mosque, the Naqqar Khan or rest house, and the Rauza or the Taj Mahal mausoleum. The actual Tomb is situated inside the Taj.
The unique Mughal style combines elements of Persian, Central Asian, and Islamic architecture. Most impressive are the black and white chessboard marble floor, the four tall minarets (40 m high) at the corners of the structure, and the majestic dome in the middle. On closer look, the lettering of the Quran verses around the  archways appears to be uniform, regardless of their height. The lettering spacing and density has been customized to give this impression to the beholder. Other illusionary effects have been accounted for in the geometry of the tomb and the tall minarets. The impressive pietra dura artwork includes geometric elements, plants, and flowers, mostly common in Islamic architecture. The level of sophistication in artwork becomes obvious when one realizes that a 3 cm decorative element contains more than 50 inlaid gemstones.

Historical Significance of the Taj Mahal
In 1612, Arjumand Banu Begam, better known by her other name, Mumtaz Mahal was married to Shah Jehan (then Prince Khurram), the fifth mughal emperor. This marriage, although the emperor’s second, was a real love – match, and Mumtaz was her husband’s inseparable companion on all his journeys and military expeditions. She was his comrade, his counselor, and inspired him to acts of charity and benevolence towards the weak and the needy. She bore him  fourteen children, and died in childbed in 1630 (only three years after his accession to the throne) in Burhanpur in the Deccan.
Where  she had accompanied him on a military campaign. Overpowered by grief, Shah Jehan was determined to perpetuabe her memory for immortality and decided to build his beloved wife the finest sepulchers ever a monument of eternal love. It was Shah Jehan’s everlasting love for Mumtaz that led to the genesis o the Taj Mahal. The sad circumstances, which attended the early death of the empress who had endeared herself to the people, inspired all his subjects to join in the emperor’s pious intensions. After twenty – two laborious years, and the combined effort of over twenty thousand workmen and maste craftsmen, the complex was finally completed in 1648 on the banks on the river Yamuna in Agra, the capital of Mughal monarchs.
The origin of the name the “Taj Mahal” is not clear. Court histories from Shah Jehan’s reign only call it the rauza (tomb) of Mumtaz Mahal. It is generally believed that “Taj Mahal” (usually translated as either “Crown Palace” or “Crown of the Palace”) is an abbreviated version of her name, Mumtaz Mahal (Exalted One of the Palace).
India’s noble tribute to the grace of Indian womanhood to people the world over, the Taj Mahal, mausoleum of the Mughal Empress Mumtaz Mahal, is synonymous with India. Its cuving, gently swelling dome and the square base upon which its rests so lightly is a familiar image from  hundreds of brochures and travel books. The Taj is a undoubtedly one of the most spectacular buildings of the world. Renowned for its architectural magnificence and aesthetic beauty, its counts among man’s proudest creations and is invariably included in the list of the world’s foremost wonders. As a tomb, it has no match upon earth, for mortal remains have never been housed in greated grandeur.

Source :
Wikipedia. (June 15th, 2013). Taj Mahal. Retrieved on June 16th, 2013 from : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taj_Mahal
UNESCO. Taj Mahal. Retrieved on June 16th, 2013 from : http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/252
Islamic City. Taj Mahal, Agra, India. Retrieved on June 16th, 2013 from http://www.islamicity.com/culture/taj/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal. Retrieved on June 16th, 2013 from : http://www.tajmahal.org.uk/history.html
Monument of Love Taj Mahal. History of Taj Mahal. Retrieved on June 16th, 2013 from : http://www.tajmahalindia.net/history-of-taj-mahal.html

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  1. I wonder what my fiance would give me to show his endless love. Would he build a luxury mansion just like the Taj Mahal for me? I suppose he would not do that, because building even a very simple and very tiny house is very expensive. However I have no doubt of his devoted love. It had been demonstrated in many (thousand) ways.


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