frizztext hosts a weekly A – Z Challenge
Event Type: General Blogging
Start Date: Tuesdays, recurring weekly
Description: Every Tuesday I offer the “A to Z challenge”, walking step by step through the alphabet.
If you would like to join in then please click here
The five principal elements of the Taj Mahal complex—main gateway, garden, mosque, jawab and mausoleum (including its four minarets)—were conceived and designed as a unified entity.
A couple of weeks ago I used the Jawab to illustrate architecture for the letter J so this week I am going to show you the Mosque, Minarets and Mausoleum which were mentioned in that post. Remember, the Jawab is simply a building mirroring the Mosque for symmetry in the design.
At the western side is the mosque (masjid) facing east, reported to have been built by Isa Muhammed 1631-1648. It is built of red sandstone and has one dominant portal known as an iwan.
Either side of the major iwan are two smaller arches sandwiched between four towering pinnacles. The spandrels above the arches are studded with coloured marble inlay and the mosque dados feature naturalistic floral designs.
On the roof and complementing the arches below are three marble-coated domes. Inverted lotus shaped designs cloak the top of the domes, surmounted by gilded finials. On the four corners of the mosque are chattris, or domed kiosks, which have a marble coated veneer.
I will also include a minaret, four of these form part of the mausoleum, which have the same chattris as on the corners of the mosque and jawab.
One of the most beautiful structural compositions in the world, the Taj Mahal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.