Architecture

The idea of the Taj

Print edition : January 22, 2016

The Taj Mahal. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

The Taj, a white marble mausoleum, with the red sandstone mosque on the western side. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

Itmad-ud Dalulah's tomb in Agra, also known as Baby Taj, seen from the pavilion along the Yamuna. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

Chambers flanking the cenotaph chamber inside the mausoleum. Photo: SHANSHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

Pietra Dura, in this case marble inlaid with flowers, cypresses, vases, and so on, flanking flowering plants. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

The heirarchical arrangement of designs, with geometrical motifs at the bottom and floral motifs at the upper levels. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

At Fatehpur Sikri, red sandstone structures built during Akbar's reign. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

The gateway, with its minars, that marks the entrance to Akbar's tomb at Sikandra. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

Humayun's tomb, Delhi. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

The Taj complex as seen from the Yamuna around sunset with the Mihman Khana to the east and the mosque to the west. Photo: Courtesy Aakash Chakrabarty

The Darwaza-i-Rauza, or the great gate, the garden, the water channels and fountains as seen from the Taj. Photo: SHASHANK SHEKHAR SINHA

The Taj Mahal, considered the greatest achievement in the world of Indo-Islamic architecture, was originally conceived as “a masterpiece for ages to come”.
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