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Visting The Taj Mahal

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The Mughals were supporters of the Islamic devotion. The swear of Allah, as written in the Koran, is extolled in marble on the doorway of the main entrance to the Taj Mahal. Representative of the gateway through which Mohammed entered Paradise; it is a position of transition between the world of the senses and land of the spirit.

Descriptions of Paradise were prevalent in both literature and art in the Mughal period, and each part of the Taj compound seems to communicate symbolically to a cosmological model of the gardens of Paradise on the Day of renaissance: the mausoleum stands like the throne of judgment at the far end of the grounds (rather than the traditional placement in the center of a four-part garden); the forty-two acres of grounds are divided by four channels of water representing the four rivers of Paradise described in the Kuran; and red sandstone walls topped with gazebos, galleries and towers mark the boundaries of Paradise.

Art historian Shobita Punja says-"when you enter the gate, the Taj is framed within the doorway, and it looks small and very delicate,""But as you march closer to it, its glory just takes over." The dome hover 250 feet into the sky, its cleanness and proportions perfect, delicate variations in the veined marble makeing changes in color with every mood of the heavens. Four minarets border the space like the scenery of a jewel.

Believing the Islamic tradition, a woman who dies during childbirth is a martyr, and her monument becomes a place of pilgrimage. Two configurations face the Taj from either side: a mosque on the west, and its mirror image, a rest house, on the east, perhaps built to offer symmetry and balance for the mosque and to give protection the faithful who would come to pay homage to Mumtaz Mahal.

Art historian Milo Beach says that-“Taj, as an occurrence, is simply an astonishing building." He also says that-“The proportion of the Taj, the workmanship of the Taj, the effect of the Taj in the landscape of the garden, the effect of light playing over the surface of white marble...is extraordinary from every angle. He added that –“The Taj is a building of extraordinary physical balance. Whether you know anything about India or about Indian architecture at all, it's a beautifully crafted building."