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Taj Mahal Gardens

Style: Persian
Divided Into: Four Parts
Canals: Two (crossing in the centre)
Flowerbeds: Sixteen
Trees: Cyprus & Fruit Bearing

The garden that starts from the end of the main gateway and ends near the squared base of the mausoleum is
an integral part of the Taj Mahal structure and is, undeniably, one of the major highlights of the visit for
many. The garden that beautifies Taj comes from the Persian Timurid style of gardens, and is based on the
concept of paradise garden' and was brought in by Babur. This garden, filled with flowers, fruits, birds, leaves,
symmetry, and delicacy, served many functions along with portraying strong symbolic or abstract meanings
about paradise. A paradise which, according to Islamic beliefs, consists of four rivers: one of water, one of
milk, one of honey, and one of wine. And it is from this concept that Char Bagh of Taj Mahal originated.
Also, the symbolism of the garden and its division are noted in the Islamic texts that describe paradise as a
garden filled with abundant trees, flowers, and plants.

Out of the total area of 580 meter by 300 meter of the Taj complex, these gardens alone cover an area of 300
meter by 300 meter distance and are based on geometric arrangements of nature. No attempt was made to give
them a "natural" look. Another architectural attribute that has been followed in the case of the entire
monument, especially the gardens of the Taj Mahal of Agra, is the usage of number four and its multiples.
Since four is considered the holiest number in Islam, all the arrangements of Charbagh Garden of Taj Mahal
are based on four or its multiples. The entire garden is divided into four parts, with two marble canals studded
with fountains crossing in the center. In each quarter portion, there are 16 flowerbeds that have been divided
by stone-paved raised pathways. It is said that even each of the flowerbed was planted with 400 plants.

The trees of the Taj garden are either that of Cyprus (signifying death) or of the fruit bearing type (signifying
life) and even they are arranged in a symmetrical pattern. Taj Mahal occupies the north-end corner of the
garden, instead of being in the center. In fact, at the center of the garden, between the Taj and its gateway, is a
raised marble lotus-tank with a cusped border, which reflects the Taj in its waters. The four walkways that are
although identical are differentiated through their context. In fact, the symmetry with which the whole garden
has been organized and laid out, can be clearly observed and experienced as one can get an unhindered view
of the mausoleum from any spot. These aesthetically maintained gardens not only bring a natural sense to the
proceedings, but also make for some great snap taking spots

Taj Mahal Gardens Found to Align with the Solstic


The gardens of the Taj Mahal align with the rising and setting sun during the summer and winter solstices,
new research shows. Although the alignments likely had symbolic meanings, the solstice sun could also have
served a practical purpose, helping architects build the Taj Mahal and its gardens precisely.

If you arrived at the Taj Mahal in India before the sun rises on the day of the summer solstice (which usually
occurs June 21), and walked up to the north-central portion of the garden where two pathways intersect with
the waterway, and if you could step into that waterway and turn your gaze toward a pavilion to the northeast
you would see the sun rise directly over it.

If you could stay in that spot, in the waterway, for the entire day, the sun would appear to move behind you
and then set in alignment with another pavilion, to the northwest. The mausoleum and minarets of the Taj
Mahal are located between those two pavilions, and the rising and setting sun would appear to frame them.

Although standing in the waterway is impractical (and not allowed), the dawn and dusk would be sights to
behold, and these alignments are just two among several that a physics researcher recently discovered between
the solstice sun and tthe waterways, pavilions and pathways in the gardens of the Taj Mahal.

Do you know that TajMahal is standing on a wodden base


Taj Mahal was built on the banks of Yamuna in Agra(1632-1653) by Mugal emperor SahJahan as a memorial to his wife
Mumtaj mahal .

The foundation of Taj is made of Ebony wood which needs constant flow of water to remain firm and
durable.EBONY is a greek word having the meaning Fruit of God. Sahjahan had selected best quality of
ebony wood for the foundation of TajMahal. Ebony wood is obtained from the trees of Diospyros sps.
Diospyros crassiflora (Gaboon ebony) is supposed to be one of the best ebony and is found in West Africa.
Another ebony is Diospyros ebenum found in India and SriLanka. Diospyros teselaria is the ebony trre found
in Mauritius. All ebony trees are now struggling for their existence.In Jharkhand D. ebenum ,D. exculpata D.
malbarica, D.montana and D. melanoxylon(Kend) are found

Some Observations and Key Points that have been noticed by me with respect to Taj Mahal and its Wood
Foundation are listed below-
Technical Points

Different woods exhibit different moisture stability.


According to experts wood fibres are dimensionally stable when the moisture content is above fibre
saturation points i.e. above 30%. But it experiences a disrupts in dimensions or swells if moisture
content tends to show an increase or decrease phenomenon.

General Points

According to Surveys and Studies carried out by ASI- Archaeological Survey of India, it is believed
that 'ebony's wood' was used in the construction of foundation and the reference to the same can be
found in many books on historical monument.
One more precise but extremely technical detail that was put to use in wooden foundation is that -"it is
only the combined action of water and air present in environment that's deteriorate the wood. Neither
of them alone have the capacity enough to deteriorate wood by virtue of their action.
Wooden part of foundation lies well below the river Yamuna and it is the secret that wood used therein
is still have the necessary strength or bearing capacity to carry on the weight of Superstructure-Taj
Mahal.
If we talk w.r.t Hindu Science of Elements- Ebony is the only wood known to have Elemental
Association with all the five elements-air, water,earth,fire and sky.
Also, since Ebony has a very high density its easily sink in water.
One can easily notice how ancient people have used general properties of a building material to their
advantage and gave the world a structure of immense beauty, Taj Mahal.The motive behind this post is to
make you realize that our ancestors were far more scientifically knowledgeable than we are today and if we
combine this knowledge with our today's technological capability ... I can only say that it will be a step to next
phase of evolution and growth.

For all those of you who wants to know in depth about Taj Mahal theory given by Shri P.N.Oak along with
photographs

Sustainable Materials and Construction Techniques of Ancient India


1. . Out of 125 heritage structures declared UNESCO, 16 heritage structures are by located in India. The
secrets of endurance of these heritage structures is hidden in their construction materials and
construction techniques.

Herbal paints for stone softening: Apply any one of the herbal paints for softening of stone before intricate
carving. Mix powder atis root, Hiracus and red ochre in milk. Apply this paint to the stone and keep it
overnight. Grind Jatamasi,Koshta, Gayaratri, Hirkus and chor in milk. Add coconut water. Apply the solution
to the stone. Grind and mix Jatamasi,Rog and Aswamari in rain water. Apply the solution to the stone.

Bricks and Roofing tiles: Mix extracts of barks of trees (Pipal and Agar) in wet clay . Knead the clay daily for

30 days and the use this clay for bricks or roofing tiles. 2b Earthen pots: Mix flour of Satu, powder of Amaksh
,Tatwasi and coconut water to clay in a proportion of 8 parts of clay and 1 part of admixtures.

Glazing of ceramic pots: Prepare a mixture of Swesha,Guggul and Kunda grass (one sixteenth of clay) and
curd (one eleventh of clay). Apply this mixture to clay pot before baking in a furnace. Or apply a mixture
of Ghee, honey and Herb powder (Kapittha, Bilwa and Niryas ) to clay pots. This process imparts glazing
to the clay pots.

Coloring of Clay pots: Mix sesame powder and resins of Kapittha and Beal trees. Add desired coloring agent
(Kushta, Red ochure, orpiment etc). Polish the pot with the mixture to impart suitable color. Alternatively
take equal parts of Sandlewood, Karpur, Gorochan and Agaru . Add clay 6 parts to the mixture in linseed
oil. Apply this oil paint to earthen pots. The same paint can be used for painting ivory or horns animals.

Lime Mortar: Grind ripe bananas, fibers of cotton and pulp of cactus and mix in slaked lime to make a good
quality lime mortar. Alternatively add decoction of barks of trees( Pipal. Amla,Kadamb) and paste of black
gram to the slaked lime.Lime Plasters: 4a-Sunla: - Curd, milk, black gram paste, gud, ghee, ripe bananas,
coconut and mango pulp are added to slake lime. Plaster made of these materials is non-shrinking and
waterproof. 4b-Waterproof lime mortar: Mix Ghee, coconut water, black gram paste , extract of barks(Pipal),
milk, curd, decoction of Trifala, and Pichhit, in proportion of 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and 11 parts respectively to 100
parts of slaked lime
Leveling coat of lime plaster: Mix 3 parts of slaked lime and 1 part of powder of dry unripe banana. Add
water to make butter like mixture. Such leveling coat gives marble finish to the wall surface.

Ingredient of Lime plasters: A table 1 below shows additives for lime plasters. 1 4 7 1 0 1 3 Table 1- Herbal
Ingredient for Lime plasters Bark of Pakar Bark of Mahuwa (Bassia 2 tree(Ficus 3 Neem Latifalia) flowers
Wihtiana Green Flowers and seeds gram 5 6 Mustard cake of Silk cotton tree (Moog) Belgiri (aegle'p 8 Black
gram (Udad ) 9 Hemp fiber ulp) 1 Jaggery Rice husk 12 Resin of Sal tree 1 Juice of 1 Saaf flower oil 15 Half
ripe Bananas Cactus 4

Brihat Samhita by Varahmihir (509-577 A.D.) Varahmihir was one of the great astrologer of India and is
famous for his text Brihat Jataka. His another work, Brihat Samhita comprises of 107 chapters covering
various diverse subjects Rain forecasting based on astrology, precursors of an earthquake, water
divinining ,adamantine glues and binders, gemology, perfumes, horticulture etc. Few verse from chapter
54 (Water divining) and chapter 57 (Adamantine glues-Vajrabandha) are described below.

15. Adamantine Glue: The subject of preparation of adamantine glue is closely connected with construction of
temples, mansions etc. A bonding agent was very essential for fixing idols, in wall construction, when
cement and other modern materials were unknown. Even now these glues known as Astabandha, are
prepared in temple premises for fixing or re-fixing images of gods. Four such glues are described below.

First formula: The ingredients are unripe fruits of Tinduka (Diospyros paniculata) and Kapittaka (Feronia
elephantum), flowers of silk cotton (Morus Acedosa) seeds of Sallaki (Boswellia serrata), barks of
Dhanavana and Vaca (Orris root). All these ingredients are boiled 256 parts of water till the decoction
reduces to an eighth of its original volume (i.e.32 Parts).

The sediments are mixed with substances, such as. Shrivasaka (a secretion of tree used as incense,
Turpentine), Raktabola (myrrh), Guggulu (Commiphora roxburghii), Bhallataka (Semecarpus
anacardium), Kunduruka (cunduru) extraction of Deodar tree resin Atasi (Linum usikatissimum) and
Bilva (Aegle marmelos) fruit. The resulting paste is termed as adamantine glue. This glue is heated and
then used in construction of temple, mansions, windows, walls and wells as well as fixing Sivas
emblems and idols of gods. It was expected to last for a million years.

. Second formula: It is composed of Lac, Kunduru, Guggulu, soot (lamp-black collected from house),
woodapple (Feronia elephanpen), Bilva kernel, fruits of Naga (Canthium parviflorum), Neem
(azadirachta indica), Tinduka, and Madana (Randia dumetorum), Madhuka (Cynometra ramiflora),
Manjiostha (Rubia Cordifolia) resin, myrrh and Ambalaka (Emblica officinalis). The method of
preparation is same as mentioned above.

1 Third formula: This variety of glue known as Vajratala which is constituted by the horns of cows, buffalo
and goats, hairs of donkey, buffalo hide, cow hide, Neem fruits, wood-apples and myrrh. This mixture
too should be boiled and reduced as mentioned before. In this glue some organic substances are also
included.

Forth formula: A compound of eight parts lead, two of Bell metal, and one of iron rust, and is known as
compound) Vajrasanghata (Adamantine
. Ingredients Sn Sanskrit English/ Latin 1 Tinduka Fruits of Diospyros paniculata 2 Kapittaka Feronia
elephantum 3 Shalmali Flowers of silk cotton 4 Sallaki Seeds of Boswellia serrata 5 Dhanavana Barks of
walnut tree 6 Vacha Barks of Orris root 7 Shrivasaka A tree resin used as incense 8 Raktabola Myrrh 9
Guggulu Commiphora roxburghii 10 Bhallataka Semecarpus anacardium 11 Kunduruka Deodar tree
resin 12 Atasi Linum usikatissimum 13 Bilvaphal Fruits of Aegle marmelos

Tempering or hardening of stone cutting tools Specially prepared tools such as chisels, crow bars, pick axe etc
are necessary for breaking the stones. Brihat Samhita (Chapter 54,115-117) describes some methods of
tempering of iron tools. The three steps are as below, The first part of these methods is to heat the tool in
fire till it becomes red hot. The second part comprises of applications of paste of certain materials and /
or dipping the red hot tool in a specific solution. The third part is sharpening the tools. The materials
used in step two were excreta of pigeon and rat, powder of horns of a buffalo and milk extract of a
Mandar plant. In another method a solution of butter milk and ash of banana plant was used for cooling
the red hot tool. The tool is kept immersed in the mixture overnight and then sharpened. Such tool can cut
steel also.

23. .Varnish: Extract of barks of milky trees (Vat, Pipal, Umber, Beal and cedar trees) is mixed in water.
Mixture is boiled and sealing wax, Jatuling and Hingul is added to the oil. Such varnish is applied to
wood for polishing and preservation.

The main purpose of colors and paints is to enhance the aesthetics of any structure. It also improves the
durability by protecting from natural weathering agents and insects etc. Chitrasutra is that part of the
Vishnudharmottara which deals with the art of painting including preparation of pure and composite
colors and preparation of brushes for painting.

2. 27. Basic Colors - White, yellow, red, black and blue are five basic (pure) colors. All other composite
colors are made from these colors. Colors are described with examples i.e. white as snow, yellow as
ripe leaves, red as fire, blue as sky and black as lamp black etc. White color - White color is prepared
from lime made of shells or mother of pearls or from white clay (pottery clay-Kaolin). White color is
prepared by mixing resins of Neem or wood apple tree with white soil or lime. The mixture is
pulverized and dissolved in hot water.
3. 28. Yellow color - Yellow color is prepared from pounding yellow wood trees (Haridra) and yellow
soil (from hills or river banks) together. The mixture is poured in clear water for two hours. The top
yellow solution is stored in earth pot till it dries. The dry powder is used for preparing yellow color.
Red color - Red color is prepared from Sindur (Vermilion), Gaierik (Red ochre), Hingul (Cinnabar) or
Laksharus (Shellac) to get light, medium, dark and very dark shades respectively. Red ochre is finely
pulverized and sieved through a muslin cloth. The powder is cleaned by mixing with water. Vermillion
is mixed in water and stirred for 12 hours. Manashil is dry pulverized by pounding in mortar with
pestle. All these colors are mixed with resin of Neem.
4. 29. Black color -Oil lamp is ignited in a mud pot. Inner surface of another mud pot is smeared with
powder of dry cow dung. This pot is place on the first pot such that lamp black is coated inside the top
pot. The lamp black is cleaned with water before application. Blue color - Blue color is prepared by
drying a mixture of blue minerals or indigo and resin of wood apple. Golden color - Golden color is
prepared from gold foil pulverized with fine sand. The mixture is poured in water and top suspension
is separated and mixed with adamantine glue. The painted surface is polished with horn (of an ox or
swine)
5. 30. Brushes : Brushes (Kunchali) used for painting are of three types, broad, medium and fine. These
three types of brushes are made from hairs of ears of calf, stomach part of sheep or tail of squirrel
respectively. A set of three brushes are required for each color. Composite Colors Composite colors
were made by mixing two or more basic (pure) colors. Table 3 below shows how composite colors
were made in ancient time.
6. 31. Table 3 Composite colors Basic colors to be mixed Composite colors White + Red Gour -light
Pink White + Black +Yellow Shar color White + Black Elephant color Red+Yellow Bakul flower
color 2 parts Red+1 part Yellow flame color Dark Red+Yellow Fire color 2 parts Yellow +1 part white
gray color 2 parts Yellow +1 part black aqua blue color White +Yellow skin color Yellow +Blue
parrot green color Shellac+Hingul Dark Red Shellac+black Purple color
7.

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