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Taj Mahal – India

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Love is not bound by the mortal presence or absence of the loved one. This is how India interprets this ultimate artistic creation of Mughal times called Taj Mahal. The structure, built between 1632 and 1653, is actually a mausoleum made of marble which the last Mughal emperor Shah Jahan got made after the death of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. This architectural structure, which stands in the Agra town of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is an amazing blend of Persian and Indian artistic styles.

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The Taj Mahal is enlisted in the UNESCO heritage sites and though it seems to be simple in the interpretation of the design but actually, it has a number of complexities involved. It was also there in the list of Seven Wonders of World.

The actual architect of the Taj Mahal is known to be the famous Islamic architect by the name of Ustad ‘Isa and it was under his supervision that thousands of workers and some other famous artisans, from distant places like Lahore, Multan, and Kannauj, gave shape to this beautiful structure. Looking at the structure of Taj Mahal, you can see that the entire dome roofed structure stands on a platform. The style used in the Taj is called the interlocking arabesque where every element despite of having its own uniqueness and individuality also fits nicely and symmetrically with the rest of the building.

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As it is a mausoleum therefore the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal is the focal point of the whole monument. It rests in the main complex of the Taj Mahal which is a distorted yet symmetrical octagon shaped building with a huge dome and four minarets on four sides. The entry in to the building is through 4 arch like doorways going out from which there are two arched balconies on either sides too. However, the grave which is seen in the main chamber is only a sarcophagus. The original one remains in a chamber which is underground the structure. On the external parts of the walls of the Taj Mahal there are passages from the Holy Quran and also calligraphies. There are also the sculptures of flowers and vines which adorn the other lower walls of the minaret. This kind of art is also visible in the interiors of Taj Mahal in addition to the works done with precious and semi precious stones.   The balconies and windows of Taj Mahal display exquisite works of jail which is the intricate cutting of marble to give a net like feel.

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Apart from the main structure, the complex of the Taj Mahal also has beautiful gardens on the four sides of the minaret. It is surrounded on three sides by walls made of red sandstone and the fourth side is open to face the Yamuna River. There are also some other palatial building within the complex which have their own respective significances.  The tourist popularity of Taj Mahal got evident when in 2001 the figures said 2 million people had visited it by then. The favourite tourist months are known to be October to February.

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