Renee Santz in India
Renee: Hi! I’m Renee Santz, and I have a knack for art and architecture. Come on! Let’s take a look at this place.
It took over 20 years and 2,000 field workers from across the Mogul Empire to build the Taj Mahal. No expense was spared to create this architectural wonder, which uses diamonds, opals, sapphires, gold, and silver in its design. I guess you could say it’s really is a national treasure!
Like everything else about the Taj Mahal, its location was an artistic decision. The Emperor planned to view the building from the nearby Agra Fort. But sadly, the Emperor was in prison by his own son before the Taj Mahal was complete. You could see the tomb only through a mirror, set inside a marble pillar.
As you can see, the entry gate to the Taj Mahal is outstanding! I mean, it stands out from the surrounding walls, and is guarded by two magnificent towers. The gateway itself is made of red sandstone, but its original silver fittings were stolen, and later replaced with bronze, that can still be seen today.
The identity of the Taj Mahal’s architect has been lost in time, but it’s likely that the Emperor himself oversaw the construction. The structure revealed a harmony of the Indian and Persian elements, as Hindu craftsmen worked together with Muslim designers and engineers to turn the Emperor’s vision into reality.
The Taj Mahal is a love poem made out of solid white marble. It was built in 1630 by the Emperor Shah Jahan, in honor of his wife, who never left his side in all their married life. Receiving a premonition of her own death, the Empress asked her husband to build her the most beautiful tomb the world had ever seen. The devoted Emperor spent the next 22 years, creating this exquisite resting place near the city of Agra.