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The Mausoleum


(rauza-i manauwara, rauza-i mutahhara, rauza-i maqqadas)

The mausoleum –known with the names of “holy tomb” (rauza-i maqqadas), “illuminated tomb” (rauza-i munauwara) and “pure tomb” (rauza-i mutahhara) unquestionably deserves all these expressions with its perfect order, harmony, purity and symmetry.

“Hasht Bihisht”, the architectural plan preferred by the Moguls for tombs and garden pavilions is used in the mausoleum skillfully in cross-axial symmetry. The plan is set on “Baghdadi Octagon” with four long and four short sides in corners. The basic cross pattern(+) intersects with the second (x) pattern linking the central hall to the four corner rooms. The ground plan is alike with the upper floor.

Exterior
The influence of naturalism is commonly felt through the detailed decorations of the plinth’s carvings. The pishtaq halls above the plinth are ornamented with the carvings of flower patterns growing up from the ground namely tulip, narcissus with smaller flowers and framed by leaf motifs “pietra dura”. Geometrically designed, yellow and black coloured rectangular frames with eight-side stars on the corners embellish the over-plinth decoration facing the garden.

The pishtaqs are framed by the passages of Qur’an emphasizing the divine forgiveness, the Last Judgment and reward for the faithful believers. The top of rectangular frames dominate the inner walls of the pishtaq halls. The arched doors of the pishtaqs are covered with jalis, the cages designed in honeycomb pattern. The door on the ground floor is larger than the one above. The sub-pishtaqs are rather smaller and smaller and simple without pattern. The blind arches surround the halls of the sub-pishtaqs. The caged door is located in the center.


The Mausoleum - Taj Mahal

 

 

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