The history of any place, be it a country, a small town, or a village, is important in all aspects of its existence. It is the document that helps build the present and plan for the future course of a place and the people living in it. The presence of history and the significance of its knowledge and revival go hand in hand.
For this, it is necessary to know the sources of our history and acknowledge those who participated in it.
Apart from historical archives, old videotapes, historical books, etc., the sources of our knowledge of history are monuments, such as the Taj Mahal. One of the many historical monuments in India, the Taj Mahal is famous for its historical and cultural heritage. It is also proof of the majestic architecture that has been a part of Indian history.
History of the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal sits on the banks of the river Yamuna in Agra. Made of white marble, the monument is a building enclosing the tomb of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan was the son of the emperor Jahangir of the Mughal dynasty. He had the Taj Mahal built in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died after giving birth to one of their children.
Believed to be entirely completed in 1643, the history and intentions that led to the construction are as important and exciting as the building itself.
Although it is not really known who the monument’s architect is, it is believed to be the work of an Indian man with Persian ancestry, called Ustad Ahmad Lahawri. The central construction, the tomb, is surrounded by a wall and includes a mosque and a garden. More than 22,000 men worked to complete the construction of the building.
The materials required for the construction were brought from all over Asia.
Given that much evidence of Mughal architecture is present in India, one can say that the Taj Mahal follows a similar arc of design. Being one of the remarkable and outstanding examples of Mughal architecture in India, the elements employed in the construction of the building represents an art form that can be seen in many other structures of the time. The design blends Indian and Persian styles of art. This type of art has been incorporated in other buildings of the Mughal era.
The white marble of the building is covered in Arabic calligraphy, which is also a common element in Mughal art and architecture. The calligraphy covers the arches of the main building as well.
There is also an incorporation of flowers drawn using semi-precious stones of different colors. Not only does this decoration exist on the exterior of the Taj Mahal, but it also covers its interior chamber.
Importance of the Taj Mahal as a historical monument
The Taj Mahal has been subject to an incredible amount of neglect and disrepair since its construction. Specific measures have now been taken to control the effect of air pollution or damage by industrial waste. The Taj Mahal stands as important evidence of the reflection of our history as a nation. Like other monuments of importance, it stands as a symbol of a glorious past and a source of information regarding the changes that have taken place since then.
Recognized as a symbol of cultural importance, the Taj Mahal was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. It was also included in the New Seven Wonders of the World(2000-2007).
The Taj Mahal attracts a lot of visitors every year, from India as well as from other countries of the world.
The preservation of monuments like the Taj Mahal is important as well as beneficial. Tourist attraction forms an integral part of this. Monuments like the Taj Mahal attract millions of tourists from all over the world, thus generating tourism and helping create job opportunities for the local people. This can be beneficial to the economy of a country.
The Taj Mahal is also a mark of brilliance from an architectural point of view. UNESCO describes the Taj Mahal as “the jewel of Muslim art in India, and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”
Historical sites need to be preserved and taken care of. The presence of monuments such as the Taj Mahal is evidence of having a rich history, and it is for these reasons that such buildings add quality to the places they are present in.