The significance of the Taj Mahal as India's cultural heritage cannot be understated. It is, irrefutably, one of the most symbolic structures ever constructed globally. So momentous is the Taj Mahal that it attracts roughly 7 million tourists annually. Notably, the utter beauty and serenity of the Taj Mahal have led to its recognition among the Seven Wonders of the World.
In addition to its undeniable splendor, the Taj Mahal has become a symbol of love and cooperation between Muslims and Hindus, two religious groups that have commonly conflicted. The Taj Mahal was constructed by Shan Jahan, as a symbol of love to his deceased princess, Mumtaz Mahal. The princess died during childbirth, and as a result of the overwhelming grief, Prince Shan decided to build a tomb that significantly depicted his love for her. The construction of the structure was done meticulously, with the excellent finishing details with marbles being done for over a decade. Irrefutably, ever since then, the Taj Mahal has become a symbol of love and cooperation between the different religious groups in India. Despite being initially built by Muslims, the tomb has had a special place in the hearts of many Hindus. In fact, it has been used by Hindus over the years for different religious functions. The construction of the structure was also done by individuals from different backgrounds, including, Persians, folks from central Asia, Hindus, and Rajputs. UNESCO currently recognizes the Taj Mahal as the only cultural heritage site in India. Consequently, the Taj Mahal has continued to successfully unite the people of India in love up to the present day.
In the course of history, the Taj Mahal has become one of the principal symbols of pride and identity for different demographic groups in India. The structure is undeniably representative of aspects of different cultures in the region. Indeed, the Taj Mahal was initially built by Muslims. Additionally, Arabic writings of the Quran were inscribed in the original structure, thus making it a legitimate Islamic heritage site. On the other hand, many of the decorations in the Taj Mahal are of Indian heritage. Therefore, the Taj Mahal has become a place where Muslims and Hindus meet for different religious functions and gatherings, with both groups simultaneously feeling at home. In addition to attracting more tourists than any other site in India, the Taj Mahal has also become a favorite location for many renowned celebrities and politicians globally (Arunmozhi & Panneerselvam, 2013). The pride the Indian people have towards the Taj Mahal was made apparent when it was overwhelmingly voted to be among the wonders of the world between 2000 and 2007. Undeniably, few structures have stirred the sense of national pride as much as the Taj Mahal has.
The Taj Mahal and As a Religious Structure
As aforementioned, The Taj Mahal remains a Muslim tomb despite accommodating Hindus too. Resultantly, the monument has become an import hub of classical Muslim art. The building also contains a mosque which is in its central mausoleum. The architecture and materials used, such as white marble and sandstone base, are synonymous with many old Muslim structures (Sparavigna, 2013). Many Quran verses, written in Arabic, are at the leading gateway of the Taj Mahal. Thus, the tomb acts as a significant symbol of the Islamic religion.
The structure, nonetheless, was constructed to recognize the religious diversity of the region. For instance, at the Finial, which is at the dome, is an Indian structure. The Finial also has a crescent moon, a universally recognized symbol of diversity. Additionally, the Taj Mahal has sections that have been designated for Hindus to make prayers. Indeed, the Taj Mahal has become an important symbol of both Islam and Hindu religions (Dhillon, 2017).
The Cultural Significance of the Taj Mahal
The TJ Mahal houses many cultural events in India; for instance, Agra, a critical carnival of culture which typically features over 400 different artisans from different sections of India. Another notable event is the Ram Barat event, which is a Hindu Festival of Dossuherma. This event is a recreational forum for the people of high social classes. The internal design of the Taj Mahal also depicts Indian cultural heritage. Additionally, the architectural design of the structure is inspired by different cultures in Asia, most notably Isalm, Hindu, Persia, and Rajputs (Moinifar & Mousavi, 2013). Nonetheless, the Islamic designs of the Taj Mahal stand out because the tomb was initially designed from an Islamic point of view.
Despite the undeniable relevance of the Taj Mal to the people of India, specific issues have to be solved for the resultant conflicts to be minimized. For instance, comprehensive agreements have to be reached between the Indians and Islam to reduce tensions between the two groups (Dhillon, 2017). All religious groups should appreciate that the Taj Mahal was built as a symbol of love; thus any disagreements arising from it will be disgraceful to the original purpose of the building. It is also highly recommended that the Taj Mahal be protected better from both natural and unnatural damages (Patel, 2016). Systems have to be put in place to detect any behaviors that can adversely affect the serenity of the locale, and timely limit them. These recommendations will ensure that the Taj Mahal maintains the magnificence that has made it overly compelling for many centuries.
Arunmozhi, T., & Panneerselvam, A. (2013). Types of Tourism in India. International journal of current research and academic review, 1(1), 84-88.
Dhillon, A. (2017, August 30). Taj Mahal is a Muslim tomb not Hindu temple, Indian court told. Retrieved May 15, 2018, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/30/taj-mahal-muslim-tomb-not-hindu-temple-indian-court-toldMoinifar, H., & Mousavi, N. S. (2013). Taj Mahal as a Mirror of Multiculturalism and Architectural Diversity in India.
Patel, H. (2016, August 30). The Slow Decay of the Taj Mahal. Retrieved May 15, 2018, from https://thediplomat.com/2016/08/the-slow-decay-of-the-taj-mahal/Sparavigna, A. C. (2013). The Gardens of Taj Mahal and the Sun.
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