Category: Useful info
From chemical pollution of Taj Mahal to fabulous monuments of Samarkand
Taj Mahal and its architecture inspired from Samarkand. Taj Mahal the true story and the Taj Mahal facts about the chemical pollution. Facts about Taj Mahal getting yellow.
1. The architects of Taj Mahal
2. The pollution that is turning Taj Mahal yellow
How Taj Mahal and its architecture was inspired by Samarkand
While “Taj Mahal” is the brightest example of Indian monuments known all over the world, only a few people know that its history and architecture is directly connected with ancient city of Samarkand. Very possibly, the architects that build the Taj Mahal were the ones that first made beautiful Samarkand. There is a very clear fact that the founders of Taj Mahal – the Moghols were the descendants of Amir Temur (Tamerlane) who ruled over one third of the world and who has built all marvelous buildings of Samarkand together with his grandson Ulugh Beg. The last powerful ruler of Temur’s family - Babur leaves Samarkand in the beginning of the 16th century and creates the dynasty of Moghols (Timurids) in India. It was Babur and his descendants that gifted India with the latest outstanding mausoleums and palaces. A good number of painters, historians, poets, musicians and architects of Samarkand & Bukhara have moved to India together with the descendants of Temur.
The construction of palaces, mausoleums and mosques were the unique points of architecture of Temur’s Samarkand. The mausoleum Gur–Emir in Samarkand, the gardens of Temur, the Ak-saray palace have been an inspiration for the construction of Taj Mahal. Especially, the spiritual importance of visiting the resting places of those venerated in Islam led to colossal constructions by Amir Temur and his descendants both in Samarkand & Bukhara as well as in Agra...
While the tomb of Humayun is known as the biggest influence on the architecture of Taj Mahal, Humayun’s tomb was a real reflect of Gur-Emir in Samarkand, borrowing a central dome, traditional Persian iwan entrances, geometric symmetrical planning, and a 'Paradise garden'. Akbar's tomb also combines the finest elements of Indian and Muslim architecture of Central Asia.
The idea of the “paradise garden” was also brought from Central Asia by Babur who ruled over Samarkand just before arriving in India. Babur, Humayun, Shah Jahan and others have followed the tradition of “Timur’s gardens” bringing a new architectural element to Indian sub-continent. The meaning of these gardens is related to mystic Islamic texts describing paradise as a garden filled with abundant trees, flowers and plants, with water playing a key role: In Paradise four rivers source at a central spring or mountain. In their ideal form they were laid out as a square subdivided into four equal parts. These rivers are often represented in the garden as shallow canals which separate the garden by flowing towards the cardinal points. The canals represent the promise of water, milk, wine and honey.
With the development of the Islamic art in Bukhara and in Ottoman Empire the Moghols of India started employing minarets as an important element of architecture, and the minarets were employed as a important points of the construction of Taj Mahal. The use of marble also reflects the interests and passion of the Timurids. By the end of the 14th century the Timurids have brought marble from India and some other place for building the Bibi Khanum mosque in Samarkand.
Though some sources speak about Ustad Ahmad Lahauri and Ustad Isa the world yet does not know who were the architects of Taj Mahal. But, it is clear that there were groups of people who were responsible for different kinds of work who had different architectural backgrounds. And the descendants of Babur have brought the traditional architecture of Samarkand to another interesting level mixed with beautiful traditions of the Indian architecture.
Pollution turning Taj Mahal yellow
According to the study of experts from US universities — Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Wisconsin — as well as Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and Archaeological Survey of India “Taj Mahal is changing colour due to deposition of dust and carbon-containing particles emitted in the burning of fossil fuels, biomass and garbage. The study confirms what has been suspected for long — that Agra's poor air quality is impacting India's most celebrated monument”.
An article from The New York Times says: Behind the monument, the Yamuna River has also filled with sewage and other waste, worsening the problem by attracting millions of mosquito-like insects. Fodor’s Travel Guide has advised visitors to skip the Taj Mahal until restoration work on the dome, which has yet to start, is completed.
Finally, the reasons of the problem are clear and it is just a question of time. The Taj Mahal has always been and will always be one of the most renowned architectural wonders of the planet.