Friday, August 28, 2009

Taj Mahal Tombs | Tour of Agra

tomb in Taj Mahal


Taj Mahal is world famous for its magnificent grandeur and majestic structure. There are many things in this beautiful edifice which hold everybody's attention alike. And of those many things, the main focus of course lies in Taj Mahal Tombs. The white marble tombs in Taj Mahal boast of usual Mughal patterns where the basic elements are that of Persian style. Following Mughal pattern, the tomb has a symmetrical building with an iwan, a curve-shaped entrance, topped by a large dome. Tombs in Taj Mahal is set on a square pedestal. The base structure in the tomb is very large and is a many chambered structure. Of the various chambers, the main chamber has the cenotaphs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

The base of the tomb in Taj Mahal is a cube shape which has furrowed margins. The length of this cubicle is 55 meters on each side. However, on the long sides massive vaulted archway borders the iwan (vaulted hall or space, surrounded with walls on three sides, with one end entirely open) along with a curve shaped balcony above. The main arches stretch above the roof of the building with integrated fa├žade and additional pishtaqs are built above and below the main arches to provide a complete uniform look. Apart from the exquisite base, another magnetic feature of the Tombs in Taj Mahal is its marble dome. The dome is about 35 meter. Its height looks emphasized because it is located on a cylindrical "drum" which is about 7 m high. This dome is also famous as onion dome for its unique shape. On the top of this dome, a lotus design is made to add to the beauty of the shape.

Besides, the main dome shape is punctuated by four smaller domed chattris or kiosks placed at its corners. The chattri domes duplicate the onion shape of main dome. There are tall decorative steeples or guldastas stretching from the edges of the base walls to provide visual emphasis to dome height. And the lotus motif is repeated on both the chattris and guldastas. The main dome is topped by a gilded spire or finial. The gilded spire is made of bronze. This spire is an integration of traditional Islamic and Hindu decorative elements. It is crowned by a moon (a typical Islamic motif). And the Hindu element is reflected in the horns of the moon and the finial point which combine to create a trident shape (symbol of the traditional Hindu God Shiva). Also, the spire has a number of bulbous forms which are similar to sacred water vessel of Hindus called Kalash or kumbh.

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