Taj Mahal


Agra. The Taj – The Grille (Interior)
Not sure on date. Mid-20th century

The extracts below are from Taj Mahal. For more information and details.

“The naturalistic decoration of the interior culminates in the central ensemble of the cenotaphs of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan and the screen that surrounds them. It attracts all visitors today with its spectacular flowers and plants inlaid in semi-precious stones.

“The perforated marble screen (mahjar-i mushabbak) was set up in 1643 to replace the original one of enamelled gold made by the goldsmith and poet Bibadal Khan on the occasion of the second anniversary of Mumtaz Mahal’s death in 1633, which was obviously deemed too precious. It took ten years to make and cost 50,000 rupees, less than one-tenth of the cost of the gold screen. Since 1994-1995 AD it has been protected from the hands of visitors by an ungainly aluminium grille in a wooden frame.”

“Within the screen are the upper cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan – what Lahauri and Kanbo call surat-i qabr, ‘the likenesses of tombs’. As usual in imperial Mughal mausoleums, the actual burials are below, in the lower tomb chamber, under cenotaphs of similar design.”

“Each cenotaph consists of a single block of stone, shaped like a sarcophagus, set on a stepped plinth which is placed in turn on a wider platform. The cenotaph of Shah Jahan is characterized as a male tomb by the symbol of a pen case on its top. While the cenotaphs conform to an established Mughal type, no other Mughal, nor any other personage in the Islamic world, was commemorated with such exquisite decoration. The lower cenotaph of Jahangir at Lahore is the only one that comes close; it was created at the same time as that of Mumtaz, probably by the same artists. The decoration of the cenotaphs with hardstone inlay was reserved for mem bers of the Mughal imperial family.”


ताज की कवर, आगरा
Cenotaphs Inside Taj Mahal Agra

No date. Postcard is printed on very thin card, more like paper.
(Hindi is probably wrong but it’s the closest I could get to what is on the card. Don’t rely on it for anything important.)