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User / Mukul Banerjee (www.mukulbanerjee.com)
Mukul Banerjee / 3,915 items

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The Taj Mahal is located on the right bank of the Yamuna River in a vast Mughal garden that encompasses nearly 17 hectares, in the Agra District in Uttar Pradesh. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal with construction starting in 1632 AD and completed in 1648 AD, with the mosque, the guest house and the main gateway on the south, the outer courtyard and its cloisters were added subsequently and completed in 1653 AD. The existence of several historical and Quaranic inscriptions in Arabic script have facilitated setting the chronology of Taj Mahal. For its construction, masons, stone-cutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of the empire and also from the Central Asia and Iran. Ustad-Ahmad Lahori was the main architect of the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Its recognised architectonic beauty has a rhythmic combination of solids and voids, concave and convex and light shadow; such as arches and domes further increases the aesthetic aspect. The colour combination of lush green scape reddish pathway and blue sky over it show cases the monument in ever changing tints and moods. The relief work in marble and inlay with precious and semi precious stones make it a monument apart.
The uniqueness of Taj Mahal lies in some truly remarkable innovations carried out by the horticulture planners and architects of Shah Jahan. One such genius planning is the placing of tomb at one end of the quadripartite garden rather than in the exact centre, which added rich depth and perspective to the distant view of the monument. It is also, one of the best examples of raised tomb variety. The tomb is further raised on a square platform with the four sides of the octagonal base of the minarets extended beyond the square at the corners. The top of the platform is reached through a lateral flight of steps provided in the centre of the southern side. The ground plan of the Taj Mahal is in perfect balance of composition, the octagonal tomb chamber in the centre, encompassed by the portal halls and the four corner rooms. The plan is repeated on the upper floor. The exterior of the tomb is square in plan, with chamfered corners. The large double storied domed chamber, which houses the cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan, is a perfect octagon in plan. The exquisite octagonal marble lattice screen encircling both cenotaphs is a piece of superb workmanship. It is highly polished and richly decorated with inlay work. The borders of the frames are inlaid with precious stones representing flowers executed with wonderful perfection. The hues and the shades of the stones used to make the leaves and the flowers appear almost real. The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal is in perfect centre of the tomb chamber, placed on a rectangular platform decorated with inlaid flower plant motifs. The cenotaph of Shah Jahan is greater than Mumtaz Mahal and installed more than thirty years later by the side of the latter on its west. The upper cenotaphs are only illusory and the real graves are in the lower tomb chamber (crypt), a practice adopted in the imperial Mughal tombs.
The four free-standing minarets at the corners of the platform added a hitherto unknown dimension to the Mughal architecture. The four minarets provide not only a kind of spatial reference to the monument but also give a three dimensional effect to the edifice.
The most impressive in the Taj Mahal complex next to the tomb, is the main gate which stands majestically in the centre of the southern wall of the forecourt. The gate is flanked on the north front by double arcade galleries. The garden in front of the galleries is subdivided into four quarters by two main walk-ways and each quarters in turn subdivided by the narrower cross-axial walkways, on the Timurid-Persian scheme of the walled in garden. The enclosure walls on the east and west have a pavilion at the centre.
The Taj Mahal is a perfect symmetrical planned building, with an emphasis of bilateral symmetry along a central axis on which the main features are placed. The building material used is brick-in-lime mortar veneered with red sandstone and marble and inlay work of precious/semi precious stones. The mosque and the guest house in the Taj Mahal complex are built of red sandstone in contrast to the marble tomb in the centre. Both the buildings have a large platform over the terrace at their front. Both the mosque and the guest house are the identical structures. They have an oblong massive prayer hall consist of three vaulted bays arranged in a row with central dominant portal. The frame of the portal arches and the spandrels are veneered in white marble. The spandrels are filled with flowery arabesques of stone intarsia and the arches bordered with rope molding.

N 2 B 190 C 0 E Mar 2, 2013 F Sep 17, 2018
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The 'Mausoleum of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq' is connected by a causeway to the southern outpost of the fortification. This elevated causeway leads across a former artificial lake and is nowadays pierced by the Mehrauli-Badarpur road. After passing an old Pipal tree, the complex of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq's tomb is entered by a high gateway made up of red sandstone with a flight of steps.

The actual mausoleum is made up of a single-domed square tomb (about 8 m x8 m) with sloping walls crowned by parapets. In contrast to the walls of the fortification made up of granite, the sides of the mausoleum are faced by smooth red sandstone and inlaid with inscribed panels and arch borders from marble. The edifice is topped by an elegant dome resting on an octagonal drum that is covered with white slabs of marble and slate.

Inside the mausoleum are three graves: The central one belongs to Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq and the other two are believed to be those of his wife and his son and successor Muhammad bin Tughluq. In the north-western bastion of the enclosure wall with its pillared corridors is another octagonal tomb in similar style with a smaller marble dome and inscribed marble and sandstone slabs over its arched doors. According to an inscription over its southern entrance this tomb houses the remains of Zafar Khan. His grave has been at the site prior to the construction of the outpost and was consciously integrated into the design of the mausoleum by Ghiyath al-Din himself.

Tughlaqabad Fort (Hindi: तुग़लक़ाबाद क़िला, Urdu: تغلق آباد قلعہ‎ ،Tughlaqabad Qila) is a ruined fort in Delhi, stretching across 6.5 km, built by Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, the founder of Tughlaq dynasty, of the Delhi Sultanate of India in 1321, as he established the fifth historic city of Delhi, which was later abandoned in 1327. Tughalaq also built Qutub-Badarpur Road, which connected the new city to the Grand Trunk Road.

Ghazi Malik was a feudatory of the Khalji rulers of Delhi, India. Once while on a walk with his Khilji master, wati suggested that the king build a fort on a hillock in the southern portion of Delhi. The king jokingly told Ghazi Malik to build the fort himself when he was the king. In 1321 AD, Ghazi Malik drove away the Khaljis and assumed the title of Ghias-ud-din Tughlaq, starting the Tughlaq dynasty. He immediately started the construction of his fabled city, which he dreamt of as an impregnable, yet beautiful fort to keep away the Mongol marauders. However, destiny would not be as he would have liked.

Ghias-ud-din is usually perceived as a liberal ruler. However, he was so passionate about his dream fort that he issued a dictate that all labourers in Delhi must work on his fort. Saint [Nizamuddin Auliya], a Sufi mystic, got incensed as the work on his baoli (well) was stopped. The confrontation between the sufi saint and the royal emperor has become a legend in India. The saint uttered a curse which was to resonate throughout history right until today: Ya rahey hissar, ya basey gujjar (may it [the fort] remain unoccupied/infertile, or else the herdsmen may live here).

Tags:   archeology asia heritage history tomb historic architecture capital new famous ancient structure garden arch delhi travel emperor culture stone marble mausoleum landmark sky empire india building safdarjung city monument icon facade tourism muslim tourist symmetry tughlakabad unesco mughal protected beautiful islam islamic architect dome carving king tree wall carved boundary

N 5 B 175 C 0 E Mar 7, 2010 F Sep 15, 2018
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At Hampi, the stone chariot located in the Vittala Temple Complex is a shrine built in the form of temple chariot. An image of Garuda was originally enshrined within its sanctum. Garuda, according to the Hindu mythology, is the vehicle of lord Vishnu.

The chariot built with many giant granite blocks. The joints of the blocks are smartly hidden in the carvings that adorn the Stone Chariot and due to this it appears as a monolithic structure. It is built on a feet high rectangular platform. All around this base platform is carved with mythical battle scenes. The four giant stone wheels attached to the chariot look complete with the axis shafts. On the wheels are concentric floral motifs.

In front of the chariot two elephants are positioned as if they are pulling the chariot. These elephants where later additions to the chariot and they actually replaced two horses that were carved in that position. The tails and the rear legs of the horses can be still seen just behind these elephant sculptures. A broken stone ladder once gave access to the sanctum is kept between the elephants.

Hampi
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The city of Hampi bears exceptional testimony to the vanished civilization of the kingdom of Vijayanagar, which reached its apogee under the reign of Krishna Deva Raya (1509-30). It offers an outstanding example of a type of structure that illustrates a significant historical situation: that of the kingdoms of South India which, menaced by the Muslims, were occasionally allied with the Portuguese of Goa.

The austere, grandiose site of Hampi was the last capital of the last great Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Its fabulously rich princes built Dravidian temples and palaces which won the admiration of travellers between the 14th and 16th centuries. Conquered by the Deccan Muslim confederacy in 1565, the city was pillaged over a period of six months before being abandoned.
As the final capital of the last of the great kingdom of South India, that of the Vijayanagar, Hampi, enriched by the cotton and the spice trade was one of the most beautiful cities of the medieval world. Its palaces and Dravidian temples were much admired by travellers, be they Arab (Abdul Razaak), Portuguese (Domingo Paes) or Italian (Nicolò dei Conti).

Conquered by the Muslims after the battle of Talikota in 1565, it was plundered over six months and then abandoned. Imposing monumental vestiges, partially disengaged and reclaimed, make of Hampi today one of the most striking ruins of the world.
The temples of Ramachandra (1513) and Hazara Rama (1520), with their sophisticated structure, where each supporting element is scanned by bundles of pilasters or colonnettes which project from the richly sculpted walls, may be counted among the most extraordinary constructions of India. In one of the interior courtyards of the temple of Vitthala, a small monument of a chariot which two elephants, sculpted in the round, struggle to drag along is one of the unusual creations, the favourite of tourists today as well as travellers of the past.

Besides the temples, the impressive complex of civil, princely or public buildings (elephant stables, Queen's Bath, Lotus Mahal, bazaars, markets) are enclosed in the massive fortifications which, however, were unable to repulse the assault of the five sultans of Deccan in 1565.

Tags:   travel temple indian asia stone india hampi architecture chariot heritage hinduism ancient sculpture religion culture tourism history rock traditional vittala karnataka archeology art unesco origins idol carving ruins landmark ruin civilization wheel background elephant brown worship old asian summer tribal monument hindu sky site tourist statues trip poster animal vijaya interesting statue wallpaper vijayanagar past archaeology building palace centuries vijayanagara landscape vittalla maharajah scientific traditionally ethnicity place destination cultural religious vacation

N 6 B 122 C 1 E Aug 25, 2018 F Sep 15, 2018
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Tags:   Lodhi Lodi Gardens india delhi building garden monument architecture landmark heritage park historical ancient asia lodi historic travel stone tomb tourism dome religion famous mughal muslim destination culture indian old gumbad islamic bara history asian nature hindu traditional mosque arch protected islam structure ruins outdoor sheesh new delhi capital new mohammed city shah dusk sky sikander morning afghan grave tourist green tour attractions picnic tree sunset dynasty

N 3 B 89 C 1 E Aug 25, 2018 F Sep 15, 2018
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Tags:   Lodhi Lodi Gardens india delhi building garden monument architecture landmark heritage park historical ancient asia lodi historic travel stone tomb tourism dome religion famous mughal muslim destination culture indian old gumbad islamic bara history asian nature hindu traditional mosque arch protected islam structure ruins outdoor sheesh new delhi capital new mohammed city shah dusk sky sikander morning afghan grave tourist green tour attractions picnic tree sunset dynasty


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