Destination #2: India – Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal – a love story carved in stone

The Taj Mahal – a love story carved in stone

Admittedly India in summer: India may be a bit hot in summer – but musically it doesn’t matter. There are no concerts in summer anyway. But as a reminder in autumn this is a hot tip: a trip to the Taj Mahal, India.

Built in the seventeenth century, the Taj Mahal lies on the outskirts of the city of Agra. This symphonic sketch reminds in a single sentence of the whole story, of the poetry and beauty of this wonder of the world. The work, divided into five parts, describes both its architecture as a whole and its hidden love story.

Construction of the Taj Mahal began shortly after the death of Mumtaz Mahal in 1631 and was completed in 1648. Over 20,000 craftsmen from many parts of South and Central Asia and various architects were involved, including Ahmad Lahori and the Persian Abu Fazel from Badakhshan (today Afghanistan). He merged Persian architecture with Indian elements into an outstanding work of Indo-Islamic architecture. The building materials were brought from India and other parts of Asia with the help of about 1000 elephants.

A widespread legend says that originally the same black marble building was planned as a mausoleum for Shah Jahan on the other side of the river Yamuna, but was not realized. On the opposite side of the “white” Taj Mahal was a park with a large water basin. The white Taj Mahal was reflected in this basin and appeared black in the water.

Shah Jahan was deprived of power by his son Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir and spent the rest of his life as a prisoner in the Red Fort. He was buried next to his wife in 1666. His tomb destroys the symmetry of the building, which proves that he intended to build his own tomb, especially as, to preserve this symmetry, he had a rest house built on the eastern side of the building, similar to the mosque on the western side.

The Taj Mahal is not located in the centre of the garden, as is usual for Persian tombs, but on the northern edge, suggesting that another tomb was planned on the opposite bank. The buildings separated from the river would then again have been in the centre of the now large garden area, as it corresponds to the Persian understanding of heaven as a Tschahār Bāgh . (Source: Wikipedia)

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