Necipoglu, Gulru and David Roxburgh. “The Taj Mahal in Agra: The Mausoleum as Eternal Garden.” Lesson 21/22 presentation developed for the Aga Khan Trust for Culture Education Programme, 2019.
The twenty-first lesson in a 22 lesson course on Monuments of Islamic Architecture developed by Professors Gulru Necipoglu and David Roxburgh at the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University. This lesson will uncover the multilayered meanings of the Taj Mahal, a major Mughal monument from the mid-seventeenth century, which has been understood, in general, as an expression of the undying love of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan for his wife, the queen Mumtaz Mahal.
What was the significance of the complex for the creation of a commercial quarter in the city?
In which ways did the complex gain paradisiac connotations?
What are the roles of the usage of the chahar bagh garden type, the hasht bihisht plan type, and specific materials and decorative motifs in producing such architectural meanings and symbolism?