I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Great Gate detail

If you're thinking this looks an awful lot like a mosque, complete with calligraphic verses from the Koran, that's not a coincidence.

I probably knew that Shah Jahan, the emperor who built the Taj Mahal, was Muslim, but I never really thought of the Taj as an Islamic landmark. But that's exactly what it is. The Mughals, who ruled India from the 16th to the 18th centuries, were a Central Asian people claiming descent from both Tamerlane and Genghis Khan. Though Shah Jahan himself was not all that tolerant of non-Muslims, the Mughal culture was a fusion of Hinduism and Islam, reflected in art and architecture.

I don't see a lot of Hindu influence here, but there are lotus motifs all over the Taj Mahal, acknowledging the Hindu sacred flower.

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