Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The Persian mausoleum called the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal (also "the Taj") is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Ottoman, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles, saith Wikipedia.
While the white domed marble mausoleum is its most familiar component, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. Building began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, and employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen.
In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire's period of greatest prosperity, was griefstricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their fourteenth child, Gauhara Begum. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustrates the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal.  The construction of Taj Mahal begun soon after Mumtaz's death with the principal mausoleum completed in 1648.
The complex includes
- fusion of Muslim-Persian-Indian design
- Mughal becomes the English word, mogul.
- gemstones of India
- mortar & pestle