Charminar inspired Taj Mahal architects!

Hyderabad: Charminar’s design, particularly the four minarets, has strongly inspired the design of Taj Mahal, said historian Dr Fazalullah Khan. Dr Fazalullah Khan said, “The four minarets of the Taj Mahal were also influenced by the mausoleums of the Shah Jahan’s father Jahangir and his father Akbar. There are strong similarities in the Moghal architecture found in Hyderabad Deccan and Taj Mahal.”

Originally, the Charminar featured four minarets. Its construction was complete in 1591, just around the time Shah Jahan was born. Forty years later, construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1631. Around 1612, Akbar’s mausoleum was constructed and it had four minarets. Subsequently in 1627, Noor Jahan built a mausoleum for her husband Jahangir which also had four minarets as a grand imposing structure. These minarets have a dominant effect on the entire mausoleum.

He said “Shah Jahan and his wife had once travelled through Deccan region (now Hyderabad ) and that’s how Charminar influenced the design of Taj Mahal.”

When the Taj Mahal was being planned, and artists started presenting the models for construction, Shah Jahan had the four minarets in mind from the original Charminar at Hyderabad, and the subsequent structures with four minarets found in his father Jahangir’s and grandfather Akbar’s mausoleums, he said.

According to Dr Fazalullah Khan, the “Taj Mahal continues to amaze architects with its impeccable design, structure and grace. However, the structure design of minarets attained perfection with their impeccable construction in Taj Mahal.

Furthermore, the minarets of the Taj Mahal are designed leaning slightly outwards. This is an engineering marvel to protect the Taj Mahal if the minarets were to collapse in the event of an earthquake.” The structure itself stands on the edge of the Yamnuna river, and was built to fulfill to honour the last wish of queen Arjumand Bano.

Arjumand Bano, popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal, who wanted the king to build a mausoleum for her, the magnificence of which the world has never seen. The queen also asked that the king would never marry after her death.

Dr Fazalullah Khan said “Moghal Emperor Shah Jahan was one of the wisest and most influential king of the Moghal era. He had great command over artisans who were roped in from different parts of the country, to erect the structure”. Similarly, “many of the jewels adorning the Taj Mahal were transported from Hyderabad”.

In an attempt to fulfill the wish of his beloved wife, who was always on his side in travel and at palace, Shah Jahan commissioned more than 20,000 workers supervised by dozens of architects, engineers and maestros in their field. More than 350 years later, the Taj continues to draw millions of visitors every year.

The central dome of the Taj Mahal stands without the help of any reinforcing material, and was built after the emperor’s wife died during childbirth in 1631. Taj Mahal, a magnum opus of eternal love was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

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