Taj Mahal, which is an eminent jewel of immeasurable beauty and a masterpiece of Mughal architecture, is in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. This white mausoleum was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as the final resting place of his love, Empress Noor Jahan. Ever since it has stood majestically, clad in white marble, being an epitome of unparalleled love. It is located at the banks of the Yamuna River.
Its construction started around 1632 and ended in 1653, and thousands of workmen and craftsmen got employed to complete it. The architecture was very carefully planned under royal supervision with Ustad Ahmad Lahouri, a well-known architect of that time, in the lead. The design said to be the finest among the Mughal architectures. The exteriors got decorated with paragraphs from the Quran and calligraphy in Persian. The interior simply awes the visitors. It is clad with precious gems decorated with traditional directions. It’s shape is in the form of an octagon which permits admittance from each face. The highlight of the interiors, the cenotaph, all bordered by marble screens or ‘jalis’ which got shaped as an octagon too.
But as Muslim tradition does not let decorations and illustrations on tombs, hence the real tombs are actually in a chamber below the cenotaph, facing towards Mecca according to tradition. Mumtaz’s tomb is situated right at the centre of the inner chamber. Shah Jahan’s tomb is the only thing unsymmetrical about the interiors, as it was not pre-planned.
The structure is bounded on three sides by red-stone walls while the side facing the river is left open. It took Emperor Shah Jahan 21 years and cost around 31 million Rupees to present his masterpiece to the world. He left no stone unturned and employed thousands of people and elephants for transport of the materials from various parts of the country. He even imported the precious stones from Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and various countries.
For its construction he recruited about twenty thousand workers, and called in sculptors and calligraphers from foreign empires like Persia and Syria. All his efforts showed their colour as his love became immortal with the name of Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal serves as a great spot of tourism as many tourists get attracted by it. Tours from Delhi are on daily basis and hence there is a healthy means of communication. A bulk of Uttar Pradesh’s tourism can be said to be because of the Taj Mahal. But of late, environment pollution is playing and adverse effect on the Taj Mahal. Due to wastes from the Mathura oil refinery nearby, the river Yamuna is getting polluted, in turn affecting the white marble of the Taj Mahal through acid rain.
As a result the white color is gradually fading and it is turning yellow. Recently initiations have been taken to control these emissions and prevention of pollution causing agents around the monument. Again the decline in the water level of the river is causing serious concern about its structural integrity. Hence it’s the duty of the government to take immediate steps about the preservation of this ‘gem’ of India as it drives a great sense of pride in every Indian’s heart.