The Taj Mahal: Origns, Architecture and Design

By Shayan Zafar in Architecture

10 months ago - 3 mins read

The fifth Mughal emperor and one of the four sons of Jahangir, Shah Jahan was very well known for his competence and his bravery. Crowning himself the emperor of Agra in January 1628, apart from his leadership skills, Shah Jahan is most known for his architectural achievements and creating a golden age of Mughal architecture during this reign.

After a 5-year long engagement, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal married in the year 1612, and spent a very happy life together. They had fourteen kids together and apart from a romantic relation, they also had a strong professional relation as Mumtaz Mahal was very politically acquired and thus helped out her husband in making big decisions. Like most other love stories that have gone down in history, theirs too had a sad ending. At the age of 37, after about 20 years of her marriage with Shah Jahan, Mumtaz passed away while giving birth to their child due to a lot of blood loss. It is said that Shah Jahan was “paralyzed by grief” and was in weeping fits during this time. It was then that in her honor he created the Taj Mahal.

Out of all his work of art, Shah Jahan is best known for Taj Mahal, a mausoleum built to house the tomb of his favorite wife. The Taj Mahal covers an area of 17 hectares, and was built in a time period of over 20 years. The Mahal has a mosque and a guest house inside the vicinity and is surrounded by formal gardens on three of its sides. It is one of the seven wonders of the world and is recorded to have had 7-8 million visitors in the year 2014.

That’s the end of our knowledge session about the Taj Mahal, here are a few facts about the design of it that you probably did not know before!

  • Like every other mosque, the Taj Mahal also has four minarets surrounding it. Minarets are towers around the masjid usually built so as to deliver the sayings of the Iman across the area. Unlike regular minarets, the minarets of the Taj Mahal are built farther away from the main structure and are also not standing straight, rather leaning slightly outwards. The minarets are designed in this as a safety measure, so that in case of any natural or structural disaster, the tomb placed in the center is safe and the minarets do not fall on it. Talk about detailing in design!
  • The gardens, that are now more lush green, were designed to look like the lawns in London, as it was built during the time of the British rule in India. Originally, the gardens were filled with roses and daffodils, just like how they are to be seen in the United Kingdom.
  • The design and architecture all came from Persia, including the chief architect himself who was a Persian from Iran.
  • The Taj Mahal is covered in beautiful and precious jewels that are engraved in the marble. 28 different types of jewels including turquoise, jade, etc. are all included in the attractive interior design of the structure.
  • The Taj Mahal is built using white marble which is turning yellow due to increasing air pollution in Agra. It is thus not permissible to enter the area in vehicles that are not electric.

Every architecture, every design tells a story, and the Taj Mahal definitely is a winner. Stick around as I bring to you more fun facts from other wonders of the world. It is going to be a fulfilling journey!

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