Architecture: The Taj Mahal

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Shah Jahan, Taj Mahal, c. 1632-1647. Marble, 580m by 300m

The Taj Mahal is a powerful and famous building worldwide and according to Let’s Go, The Taj Mahal is “Featured on signs of a million and one restaurants, T-shirts, and biscuit tins…” (176) The Taj Mahal is famous because of the builder, Shah Jahan’s, sad love story and the “unique beauty” (Bradnock & Bradnock 243) of the architecture. Built with white marble and different stones from across Central Asia, engraved with different floral designs and Arabic calligraphy, makes the Taj Mahal a must see structure. (Let’s Go 176)
The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who hired “some 20 000 craftsmen and labourers.” (Dunlop 122) Some sources claim Ustad Ahmad Lahauri was the main architect of the Taj Mahal, however there is no clear evidence. In the Islamic world, during that time period, the person behind the idea was known as the designer/artist of the buildings. The Taj Mahal took 15 years to build and was completed in 1647. It is located in Agra, a city in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh in India. (Let’s Go 176)
The Taj
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However, since the expense of the Taj Mahal was something the Mughal Empire was unable to afford, the Taj Mahal remained unattended to and the garden had overgrown. During the 19th Century, a Governor General of England, Lord Bentinck, planned to rip apart the Taj Mahal and sell it to England in different pieces. He had ordered cranes to come and tear apart the Taj Mahal, but since another building of Shah Jahan’s failed to be auctioned off, Lord Bentinck abandoned his plan. Lord Bentinck’s successor, Lord Curzon, then fixed the damage that was done over the centuries, rearranged the platform and cleaned the garden. (Bradnock & Bradnock 242) The changes did not alter our viewing experience, as the Taj Mahal remains as “A monument to love” (Bradnock & Bradnock

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