Crown Jewel ~ inspired by the Taj Mahal, which is often referred to as
‘Poetry in Stone’
The History of Lost Love
Shah Jahan of the Mogul dynasty was yet to accede the throne when he heard about the unsurpassed beauty of Mumtaz. He took Mumtaz as his third wife in 1612. For the next 18 years Shah Jahan and Mumtaz were inseparable. Shah Jahan took his wife along on every journey and war campaign. Over the years Mumtaz came to be his best friend, his critic and a canny political adviser. Mumtaz was expecting their 14th child when Shah Jahan embarked on a campaign against the Lodhi Empire in 1631. In the heat of the Indian summer, the army traveled to the Deccans. Mumtaz, who had accompanied the emperor, went through a rigorous childbirth. She died in Burhanpur. On her deathbed, she asked her husband to promise her that he would build a monument to their love. Legend has it that he locked himself in his room for eight days without food after Mumtaz passed away. After burying Mumtaz temporarily in Burhanpur, Shah Jahan went about constructing the Taj Mahal in right earnest.
He summoned the best architects and artisans from far away lands like Multan, Kannauj, Lahore, Iraq and Persia. He arranged for the best marble from all around. It took 22 years, 22,000 people, 400 elephants and 32 million rupees to build the Taj Mahal. The result: an awe-inspiring structure, which is one of the most globally recognized symbols of grace and beauty.
The Magnificent Monument
Built on a raised, square platform it is as tall as a 20-storey building. You enter through an imposing gateway. The complex consists of an elaborate garden set in the typical charbagh style, a mosque, a guesthouse and several other charming buildings. The mausoleum itself stands at the farthest end of the complex, right along the Yamuna River. The signature central dome (58 ft in diameter and 213 ft high) is truly magnificent and is echoed in the smaller domed chambers on all sides. The four slender minarets that rise from the corners of the mausoleum complete the picture of symmetry.
The undisputed majesty and beauty is further reflected in the exquisite artistry created by inspired artisans from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara. Exquisite floral patterns and calligraphy on both the exterior and interior were inlaid with precious stones such as jasper and agate. Quotations from the Koran were etched into stone archways; a pinnacle was set on the central dome; and thus came to life the most splendid resting place a lover could ever hope to find on this planet!
By Ravi Kunjithai
Beautiful intricate abstract design bursting forth in hues of light blue and gray, yellow / orange, and even a hint of rose, all interspersed with lovely metalic golds.
All artwork is © Rhonda L. Hall, All Rights Reserved. You may not use, replicate, manipulate, redistribute, or modify this image without my express consent.