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Read about the architecture of the Taj mahal mausoleum at Agra.

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Architecture of Taj Mahal Mausoleum

It is on the centre of a rectangular red sandstone platform that the tomb structure stands along the river Yamuna. Chameli-farsh as the platform is generally called, measures 970'-7" (East-West) by 364' 10" (North-South) and is 4' high from the garden level. There is a beautiful mosque on its west and a matching structure on the east. These structures are in red sandstone with a liberal use of white marble for emphasis and contrast. The tapering minarets are three storeyed and measure 132' in height, each separated by a balcony supported on a series of brackets which has a rhythmic play of light and shadow and provide this black and white marble minaret with grace which matches the arms of a beautiful lady.

The detached minarets at each corner of the plinth of the Taj trace their evolution probably from the Lodhi Tomb at Agra itself. The tomb of Sher Shah is another example of detached kiosks on all the four angles of the main plinth, with the tomb structure occupying its centre. It is for the first time that four full fledged minarets appear on its main gateway. Each minaret is circular and tapers as it rises. These minarets rise gracefully high into sky seemingly carrying the whole body of the gateway with them. Fully developed Minarets mark an important stage in Mughal architecture. The most remarkable feature of these minarets is their harmony with the tomb.

Though the white marble main tomb is basically a square of 187' side, it assumes an octagonal form due to the chamfer at the angles. Some architects believe that the inspiration for this plan could have originally been derived from that of the Hemkuta temple. Each fascia of the tomb is composed of a grand iwan (portal) in its centre, occupying almost the whole height up to the ramparts which rises well over it to give distinction to the iwan. It is flanked on both sides by double alcoves one above the other. Each section of the façade is well demarcated on both sides of the iwan by very small turrets which rise above the ramparts and are crowned by beautiful pinnacles with lotus-buds and finials.



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