Twenty eight different types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble to create some amazing designs. The marble itself came from Makrana in Rajasthan, Jade and crystal came from China, turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan, carnelian from Arabia, Nacre from south India and Sri Lanka - to name a few
The carvings into the marble are also so beautiful and intricate and depict wonderful scenes.
Thousands of artisans were employed during the construction of the Taj Mahal to create one of the most impressive structures in the world. The entire surface of the mausoleum is covered in a variety of floral, geometric and calligraphic designs, created in carved relief or polychrome inlaid pietra dura work. The latter artwork was encouraged by the Mughals and utilised in the decoration of numerous mausoleums and palaces in their empire, but the artisans' skills reached their zenith during the work on the Taj Mahal. This tradition is kept alive to the present day by local artisans whose work is sold all over Agra and elsewhere in India.
Attached are a few photos of these exquisite designs, but for a more detailed look, go to the travelogue: "Taj Mahal - Inlay & Carved Designs".
In main gate of Taj Mahal left side lower wall of the dome there some flowers.I find reparing flower there, carving's is same like older, but the white marble material is not in same colour, it's little dark.You can see in the photo right side upper.
The dado frames and archway spandrels have been decorated with pietra dura inlays of highly stylised all around the domes, almost geometric vines, flowers and fruits. The inlay stones are yellow marble, jasper and jade, levelled and polished to the surface of the walls.
The lower walls of the dome Exterior and Interior are white marble dados that have been sculpted with realistic bas relief depictions of flowers and vines. The marble has been polished to emphasise the exquisite detailing of these carvings.
Taj Mahal is surely one place where I would love to visit over and over again this monument is not just a mausoleum but is a complete architectural marvel. Starting from the exterior decorations to the interior detailing the standard of art and architecture is worth all the praises it is given. The exteriors of Taj Mahal are refined proportionally with first applying stucco and stone inlays. The walls of Taj Mahal are craved with calligraphy which needs a lot of artistic capability. The plinth, minarets, mosque and gateway are decked with abstract forms and the domes are worked with exquisite geometric forms.
The interior chamber contains splendid traditional decorative elements. This section of the tomb is decked with beauteous gemstones, built in white marble the entire interiors appeared a very peaceful and tranquilizing space to me. The entire tomb is decked with the patterns of flowers craved on the stunningly beautiful white marble. This exquisite and fine work of art required trained and skilled labor and thus it is said that emperor Shah Jahan had got hands of the labor amputed after its construction.
Its said that the main reason taj was designed to represent an earthly things of one of the houses of paradise. The carving is the unique talent of the workers who carved this beautiful flowers. I shall have more on carving and decorative elements on my next visit to taj.
The interiors are rather dark, and on first sight there's not much to see, but if you take a closer look you will see all the fine marble carvings decorated with many precious and semiprecious stones of any color (sapphire, topaz, coral,...) . If you're accompanied by a guide, he will certainly show you that a lot of the interior decorations are made of transparent marble. In the middle of the room inside the Taj, a screen of carved marble surrounds the cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan, also built exclusively in marble, with (calligraphy and other) inlay work.
Nearly every surface of the entire complex has been decorated. The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest to be found in Mughal architecture of any period.
Once again, decoration motifs are repeated throughout the complex. As the surface area changes -- a large pishtaq has more area than a smaller -- the decorations are refined proportionally.
The decorative elements come in basically three categories:
- Abstract geometric elements
- Vegetative motifs
The Taj is built on a raised marble platform, and has a minaret at each corner. As you enter there are two tombs, but these are false, you have to go down some stairs to see the true tombs of Mumtez and Shah Jahan.
The Taj looks great from afar...and thats the well known view. But up close their are intricate patterns of semi-precious stones inlaid into the marble. This inlay process is called 'pietra dura', and I think is of Italian origin.
Oh no ! Not another overpriced tourist ripoff Agra marble factory outlet store... No mas , No MAS !!!
No, no, no, wait.... Hey this one is the real thing !!!
Really though, the Taj is just amazing. Every picture that I took of it, it just seemed to be floating in the back ground, just too symmetric, too beautiful, almost like it wasnt real....
Now this is one of the many doors leading to the mausoleum...but this is not the one we can enter. All doors are similar. I took this pic to show the difference with the open one and the closed one. See the intricate detailings. With caligraphy adorning around the the entrance...equal size Arabic Jawi writings...of the Muslim Qoran verses, and the arches framing the doorway is decorated with flowers - i can see the lotus for sure.
Lotus seemed a big thing here...you see them even in the fountains...the buds as the water sprout
The inlay on some of the walls here is even more beautiful than at the Taj Mahal, it suprised me that many tourists dont bother to come and visit this site, it was the quietest place we visited in India
On the left bank of river Yamuna, is located the second most beautiful building in Agra; after Taj, the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah. Designed like a silver Jewel box in marble, this building is a marvellous example of delicacy and precision in inlay work. This tomb was the first mausoleum built on riverbank, till then only pleasure gardens were built on the riverbank. This beautiful mausoleum was built by Nur-Jahan between 1622-1625 A.D. for her father Mirza Ghiyath Beg, who was appointed the prime Minister of the Empire shortly after Nur Jahan's marriage to Jehangir and titled as 'Itimad-ud-Daulah' which means Lord Treasurer of the Empire.
The tomb building consist of a quadrangular enclosure about 550 sq. feet, one side of which faces the Yamuna River. This enclosure is pierced by four gateways in cardinal directions, out of which Eastern gateway is the main entrance gateway to the tomb and rest of three are merely ornamental.
The main tomb building is square in plan and is raised on a red sand stone plinth, in the centre of a 'Char Bagh' or four quartered garden. Hence, the overall setting of the building substantiate its aesthetic beauty.