Shah Ielah reacted to the tragedy as did Artemisia on the death Mausolus. He was so inconsolable that it was feared he would die of grief. In fact he never recovered from the shock, although he did rouse himself because he wanted to venerate the memory of his wife, with a suitable monument. The greatest thing he did during the rest of his reign was to build the Taj Mahal. As a site he chose a high bank of the Yumna River, one of the holy rives of Hundustan, where it bends around at Agra. He summoned the finest architects and craftsmen from all over his empire and had them submit plans for the proposed buildings. The Portuquese Iesuists in Agra reported that the man who won was a Venetian Geronimo Verroneo, and that this Westerner actually erected the Taj. But that story has been rejected by some later scholars on the grounds that the building shows no European influence. Other accounts name a Turk or a Persian.
The basic material used was wite marble, with the wall and gates of red sandstone, a colour scheme, that has the remarkable effect of showing different tints at different times of the day. The building stands on a 186-foot square with the angles cut to form on octagon. Beneath it is a raised marble platform, extending all around and marked by delicate minarets at each corner. Above swells the great dome, about two thirds of a sphere, surmounted by a crescent and flanked by smaller domes, each of the walls is cut by arches of a similar but not at all mono fonous pattern, rather, they contribute to the unity of the whole, Light enters through marble screens.
There is an old saying that "The Moguls built like titans and finished like jewelers". The Taj Mahal proves the truth of the remark. Looked from a distance, its appearance is indeed dreamlike, with a grare and balance that make us wonder how human beings ever achieved so miraculous a result from marble and sandstone.
After Shah Jehan the Mogul Empire had no place to go except downward. This great ruler lived to see the first bitter fruits of failure, for his sons rebelled against him, and the one who came out on top, Aurangzeb, deposed him and threw him into prison.
Then Aurangzeb moved the capital of the Mogul Empire from Agra to Delhi. For seven years Shah Jehan remained in a cell in the fort at Agra, protesting against the unfilial behaviour of the new emperor, and spending much of his time gazing across at the Taj Mahal where the symbol of his best days lay Buried. Shah Iahan died in 1658 and finally left prison to lie by the side of Mumtaz Mahal in her glorious tomb. Aurangzeb maintained his throne for fifty years, the last Mogul of any consequence. On his death in 1767 fierce fighting among his sons broke out. Final ruin came in 1739 when the powerful king of Persia, Nadir Shah, invaded Hundustan. From then on the Mogul Empire of Akbar, Yahangir, and Shah Jehan, was but a memory, but it had left behind a colorful page of history climaxed by the enduring monument that attracts and charms visitors to this day that wonder the modern world, the Taj Mahal.
But India is famous not only for this monument of art - It has other wonderful masterpieces of architecture.
ART OF INDIA
Indian civilization was one of the oldest and most original in the East. Her contribution to world culture was great. In the ancient times, India was famed for her wonderful miracles, vast natural resources and craft works.
In the 3rd century b.c. almost the whole Hindostan peninsula and some neighbouring countries, were united into one gigantic empire under the powerful king, Ashoch (273).
Only stone edifies in that period have survived till nowadays: temples and cells, stone-shrines. Shrines were erected of brick and stone in the form of hemisphere, surrounding by the fence with 4 gates in it.
Stone statues served as adornments of architecture and more often were created in the form of scenic relief. Motions, gestures and poses of the people on the relief are extremely expressive and graceful. That was under the influence of the dance art, widely spread and popular in India.
Religious architecture of the Ashoch period is represented by cave complexes and temples. Such temples were usually carved in the picturesque and secluded places out of the solid rock massif. Excavations in the North - West India brought the discovery of the wonderful statues created in the 1st century a.d.. These were mainly the statues of Buddha. Influence of the Greco-Roman art was great here.
Figures of Buddha resemble much statues of the Roman emperors and some of the Greek gods. They were made by Greek masters who lived in Indian and adopted Indian religions. Later on the Indian apprentices of Greek masters started sculpting Buddha according to the notion of the Indian people: sitting with his legs crossed. Period of the blossoming Indian culture dates back to the 4th -6th centuries a.d. Remarkable specimen of the ancient Indian painting have survived in Buddhist temples and monasteries in Adjanta. Walls, ceilings, pillars in these temples are painted with the scenes from Buddhist legends and are decorated with statues and carving. Murals in Adjanta are the visual encyclopaedia of life of the ancient Indian people.
The Indian civilization was one of the oldest and most original in the last. Its contribution to the culture of human kind is immense. At a very early stage, ancient India maintained close cultural contacts with many countries of the ancient Orient and with the Greco-Roman World.
Ancient traditions are highly viable in India and it is therefore not surprising that many achievements of the ancient Indian civilization long outlived the epoch of antiquity becoming an important component of the country's modernculture and of world civilizations.
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