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Taj Mahal
Temple of Goddess Artemis (Diana)
Temple Palace of Angkor Wat
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Taj Mahal

    When a person gazes at the Taj Mahal, it evokes awe and admiration, one feels overpowered by the architectural marvel and its breath taking beauty, but the feeling Taj Mahal conveys is that of Romance. it is truly be called "a poem of love in marble".

    Taj Mahal is the symbol of the 17th Century Mughal emperor Shah Jehan's love for his Queen Mumtaz Mahal. The word "Taj Mahal" means the crown of the Queen. Shah Jehan was the fifth of India's Mughal rulers. He was tolerant, devout and a great patron of arts. His love for his wife is legendary. They had a happy married life and had many children.

    In the fourth year of Shah Jehan's reign as king. Mumtaz Mahal died giving bith to a child. A hearbroken King and husband immediately ordered the building of the Taj Mahal a mausoleum (A building housing a grave) on the banks of the River jamuna in Agra, the Mughal Capital of Northern India.

    The architect of Taj Mahal is not known but the names of the master craftsmen were recorded. They came from many parts of Asia, especially from Persia to form a team of 37 Calligraphers, Sculptors, Masons and Engineers. It took 20,000 men, over 22 years to complete Taj Mahal. The Master Calligrapher named 'Amanat Khan Shirazi' is the only signature to appear on the monument.

    The Taj Mahal stands in a large rectangular garden by a tall wall of red sand-stone. At the end of the garden is a fine gateway built of red sandstone and inland with Quranic Calligraphy and ornamented with floral patterns in white marble. The garden is a formal Persian garden and is part of the mausoleum complex. Two marble cauls meet in the centre of the square dividing the garden into four parts. At the centre, bewteen the gate and the tomb is a marble fish tank. This perfectly reflects the tomb.

    The Taj Mahal, a square stands on a square red sand stone platform, with an elegant Minaret at each corner. The platform rests on a solid stone terrace. The magnificent dome rises from the centre of the building. It is 70 feet (21.3 meters) in diameter and the building is 120 feet (36.6 meters) high. At its corners there are four smaller domes. On each side a pointed arch forms the entrance of the tomb. Calligraphic designs are inlaid in various colors of marble and include every chapter of Quran.

    The octagonal main chamber is richly decorated and has marble sarcophagu (coffins) which are empty. The actual tombs are in a vault surround the main chamber. The beauty of the Taj Mahal lies in its symmetry, architectural excellence and the rich ornamentation of the marble with both floral patterns and calligraphy. Goethe's famous saying that architecture is frozen music is especially true in the case of Taj Mahal.

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