This week is dedicated to Taj Mahal, the monument on which pivots The Taj Conspiracy. If you’ve read the book, you’d have gleaned some of these facets - each of which melds into another to form the sublime Taj. If you haven’t yet, it’s never too late to grab the book - there’s more to the monument than the famed love story! Meanwhile, here is the first sampling from the Taj mezze.
Taj Mahal is more than a tomb. It is Mumtaz’s home in paradise, as envisioned by her husband Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor. In order to give concrete expression to an ethereal vision, the emperor put all elements of ideal architecture to work and play.
Rigorous mathematical planning provides a structure of perfect symmetry, balance and harmony; the choice and colour of building materials, the surface decoration and ornamentation provide the aesthetics. In the Padshahnama, Lahauri says the exalted mausoleum imitated the gardens of Rizwan, the guardian of Paradise, and gave an impression of the holy abodes...
“It is this fusion of the intellectual and the sensuous that has made Taj Mahal so successful over the centuries.” - Ebba Koch
Almost four centuries since the Taj was built and yet, amidst the frenzy of Des it continues to provide an oasis of calm. On a quiet day, even a glimpse of Paradise.
|Photo by the inimitable Steve McCurry|