Well, you must be surprised to read the heading. Aren’t you? That how can there be three Taj Mahals? Read this important piece of information till the end to find out.
Firstly, relax your brows and chill. There are indeed three Taj Mahals in Agra.
The first one is Itmad-ud-Daula, Taj Mahal’s precursor. The second is John Hessing’s Tomb, which takes its inspiration from the architecture of Taj and is built in Roman Catholic Cemetery. The third and the last one is the Taj Mahal itself.
Now, let us go a little deep into the history of these three monuments and add some information to the bucket of our knowledge!
This monument has been quite special in architecture as well as in history. Why? Because – it’s the first tomb of India to have been built entirely out of Marble!
Prior to the construction of this tomb, all the Mughal architecture was done in Red Sandstone. This tomb overlooks the Yamuna River and belongs to one of the ministers in Shah Jahan’s court, Mir Ghiyas Beg. It displays Indo-Islamic architecture and is elaborately carved in pure white marble. When seen from the outside, the tomb looks a small jewel box in the midst of a garden. The Taj Mahal was built in the later years after taking inspiration from Itmad-ud-Daula.
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John Hessing’s Tomb
Hessing’s Tomb is built in Red Sandstone as is therefore called the Red Taj Mahal. It is quite close to the Agra city centre and is built in Roman Catholic Cemetery. The tomb was built by the wife of John William Hessing, who was a British Colonel, and is referred as his final resting place. The tomb is an almost exact replication of the Taj Mahal in a miniature form. It is built on a high platform just like the Taj Mahal with a dome on the centre top and decorative umbrellas in the four corners. The facet of the tomb has four arches, two on each side and a big central arch that leads to the coffin of Hessing. Though the monument isn’t as grand as the original, its architecture tells us the intent behind its construction.
The Taj Mahal
A lot has already been stated about this seventh wonder of the world. Taj Mahal, which means the Crown of the Palace world, is a pure white marble mausoleum. It is present on the bank of River Yamuna. Built under the instructions of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it is considered as the symbol of love. It was constructed in the loving memory of his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal. This beauty has been the pride of India since then and attracts visitors from all over the world. Known for its intricate architecture and carvings, Taj Mahal is a world of wonders in itself.
So, now that you know about the three Taj Mahals of Agra, when are you planning your next visit?
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