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Taj Mahal Calligraphy

Introduction

Taj Mahal Calligraphy Read about Taj Mahal calligraphy details. When we enter into the Taj Mahal complex, in first view of Taj, we appreciate its massive structure, white color and design. In first view, these are the notable points. While getting close to the structure, grandness of structure impresses us in great way. When we reach the base area, we will be able to observe many other aspects of the structure in which Taj Mahal Calligraphy is the most notable part. This calligraphy work enhances its beauty. It is written no only in outer wall of entrance gate but also in inside the mausoleum. Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1631 at Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh state. Made in white marble, it is the finest example of Mughal architecture showing influences of Islamic, Persian and Indian styles. Construction started in 1631 CE and the main monument was completed in 1648 CE. The gardens and outlying buildings were finished five years later in 1653 CE. In total it took 22 years to create this marvelous tomb. In 1983, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was referred as "the jewel of Muslim art in India". It stands grandly by the banks of river Yamuna. The monument is situated in the centre of the Mughal garden.

Calligraphy

Calligraphy in Taj Mahal is very important part of structure. It is visible to us when we are about to enter into the main building. In first view, it seems that these soulful lines are written by using black color on white marble but it is not the color but usage of jasper and black marble. Here it is important to understand the meaning of these deeply soulful lines. As you step into the Taj complex, the verses of Quran greet you; 'O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with him, and He at peace with you' are the holy words which create a soulful environment at Taj. Like all the other aspects, Calligraphy of Taj Mahal is also planned and picturesque. While the handwriting of the calligraphy is beautiful, the black inscriptions over the white marble enhance the beauty of the edifice. Jasper was filled into the white marble to create the calligraphy and the man responsible for this exquisite affair was Abdul Haq, who was also entitled as Amanat Khan by Emperor Shah Jahan; some of the pillars also bore his signatures.

Arabic inscriptions in black marble are used to decorate both the south gateway and main mausoleum. The black marble lettering is inlaid into white marble scroll-like borders that frame the architectural features. Sweeping letters and a strong emphasis on horizontal and vertical strokes create an almost grid-like effect in places. The text is written in the 'thuluth' script, in a style associated particularly with the Persian calligrapher, Amanat Khan, who was resident at the Mughal court. Recent historian Wayne Begley suggests that Amanat Khan was responsible not only for the design of the script but also for the choice of text. The majority of the text is taken from the Qur'an. There are twenty two passages in all, including fourteen whole chapters, some of which are read out as part of the Islamic funeral ceremony itself. Amanat Khan used an optical trick to inlay the Quranic verses on the Taj Mahal. The letters which appear to be equally sized are actually not. They gradually get bigger, as the letters move upward to the peak of any arch. Higher Panel of calligraphy work, was written in slightly larger letters to reduce skewing effect, we a normal person view it from downside. The inscription on the main gateway invites the reader to enter paradise. The verses that are inlaid on Taj Mahal, inside the main complex are long passages which describe Paradise, while the outer parts describe the impending doom and penalties to the sinner of this world. On the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal in the heart of the burial chamber, the ninety nine names of Allah had been found inscribed on the sides. The crypt of Mumtaz Mahal's tomb reads “O Noble, O Magnificent, O Unique, O Eternal, O Glorious…” and the tomb of Shah Jahan is adorned with the following line “He travelled from this world to the banquet hall of eternity on the night of twenty sixth month of Rajjab, in the year 1076 Hijri”. The inscriptions on the grave of Mumtaz Mahal call upon god to keep His devote Mumtaz Mahal under His mercy. In order to understand and notice this calligraphy work, we recommend to visit Taj Mahal complex in day-time as daylight is best to view all the written lines. Full moon night visit is not recommended for calligraphy viewing.

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