Marbles are one of the best stone when it comes to sculpting or carving idols, statue and monuments. Its durability and translucency makes it to be chosen by many great artist and sculpture like Michelangelo, Donatello, Bernini, etc. even in the pre historical period marbles have been used relief sculpture, friezes and free-standing statue. Marble is a metamorphic rock mainly composed of calcite. These rocks are formed using extreme pressure and heat. Marbles are soft and easy to work once they are extracted from the mines, as the time pass’s marbles become hard and dense, marbles are available in different shades and texture. The quality of marble can be checked by its isotropy, homogeneity, and resistance to shattering and also it is a quality of allowing the light to pass through similar to human skin. Due to the minute grains present in the marble, minute details can be carved on to it. Using the white marble, Taj Mahal was built. A brief introduction about building of Taj Mahal.
Making of TajMahal
The initial model was built on a miniature form, which was made up of wood and it was made by a foreigner. Taj Mahal was built near a riverbank as chosen by the Mughal king Shah Jahan, coz of the romantic and pleasing environment he wanted to create. Taj Mahal is built on the system of char-bagh, meaning, on a square land, tomb of the king or queen would be placed in the center, surrounded by greenery and garden but in TajMahal the center does not have tomb, it has a beautiful raised lotus pond of white marble.
Taj Mahal, which is one of the seven wonder of the world was built in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Shah Jahan, who died while giving birth to his 14th child. It took about 17 years to build the Taj Mahal, 20,000 workers were constantly working on the monument at any given time. Semi- precious stones like Aqiq, agate, turquoise, Lapis- lazuli, coral, onyx, cat's eye, jade, blood stone, goldstone, magnet stone, grey and yellow sandstone, red sandstone, black slate and white marble was used for the foundation of Taj. Most of the materials were brought from fatehpur sikri, karauli-hindaun, tantpur, paharpur and makrana. Semi-precious and rare stones were also brought from place like upper Tibet, kumaon, cambay and ceylon. The cementing materials which was using in building Taj consisted of kankar, jute, urd-pulse, curd, belgiri water and molasses which was mixed with lime mortar. 1000s of elephant were used to transport the goods from different part of world to Agra. About 40,000 tolas (468000 gms) of gold was inlayed inside the Taj Mahal.it is also said that, Taj Mahal changes colors depending on the time of day. It is lightly pinkish, fully white towards the evening and golden yellow in the night, when the moon light directly falls on it. It is said to resemble the changing mood of lady, more particularly the queen’s mood. Taj Mahal is built on the principal of self-replicating geometry and symmetric architecture elements, Persian, Islamic and Indian Architecture Style were used by the expert architect, the 4 pillars of Taj Mahal are slightly bent, so that incase of earth quick, they do not fall on the tomb. The estimate cost of building the Taj Mahal was about 32 cores. It is 171 meters tall.
Many of the Mughal king believed that usage of precious and semiprecious stone can have different types of effects on a human being because it is also believed that these stone held/captured negative and positive energy. While building the Taj Mahal, usage of these stone were strictly calculated and placed exact location mention by the head architect. Because of many hindu architect involved in the making of Taj, vastu of Tajwas also kept as a top priority, symbolic motifs such as swastika, hexagon, pentagon, conch-shell, fish, triangle, square, rectangle, leaves and petals of chiefly lotus was made on Taj.
Agra, which is famous for the Taj Mahal and sweets, has a very big market for marble stone crafts, after the independence, many of the artisan involved in making marble items for the royals and kings of India, were out of work as there was very less work given from the royals. These artisan started selling their work in the local market. Out of many marble items, Tajwas one of the the gift items which was appreciated by the audience of all ages.