These Two Religious Societies, Unfortunately, Are Not On Very
Amicable Terms, And Censure And Persecute Every Slight Irregularity
On The Part Of Each Other; By This Means Not Setting The Natives
Living Round Them A Very Good Example.
My last visit was to the magnificent treasure of Agra, and, indeed,
of all India - the famous Taj-Mehal.
I had read somewhere that this monument ought to be visited last, as
the others would not be admired at all after seeing this. Captain
Elliot says: "It is difficult to give a description of this
monument; the architecture is full of strength and elegance."
The Taj-Mehal was erected by the Sultan Jehoe (Dschehoe), in memory
of his favourite muntaza, Zemani. Its building is said to have cost
750,000 pounds. Properly speaking, the sultan's memory is more
perpetuated by this building than that of his favourite, for every
one who saw it would involuntarily ask who erected it. The names of
the architect and builder are unfortunately lost. Many ascribe it
to Italian masters; but when it is seen that there are so many other
admirable works of Mahomedan architecture, either the whole must be
considered foreign or this must be admitted to be native.
The monument stands in the centre of a garden, upon an open terrace
of red sandstone, raised twelve feet above the ground. It
represents a mosque of an octagon form, with lofty arched entrances,
which, together with the four minarets that stand at the corners of
the terrace, is entirely built of white marble.
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