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The Complete Taj Mahal

The greatest monument to love, and the lost world of the Agra gardens and their characterful owners, re-created through superb scholarship and evocative illustrations.
The Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal art and one of the most famous buildings in the world. Yet there have been few serious studies of it and no full analysis of its architecture and meaning.Ebba Koch is the only scholar who has been permitted to take measurements of the complex. She has been working on the palaces and gardens of Shah Jahan for thirty years and on the Taj Mahal itself— the tomb of the emperor's wife, Mumtaz Mahal— for a decade.
The tomb represents the house of the queen in Paradise, and the author shows how its setting was based on the palace gardens of the great nobles that lined both sides of the river at Agra. She leads the reader through the entire complex of the Taj Mahal, with an explanation of each building and an account of the mausoleum's urban setting, its design and construction, its symbolic meaning, and its history up to the present day.
The book features hundreds of new photographs plus drawings by the Indian architect Richard Barraud that include plans and reconstructions of Agra and the Taj complex as they looked in Shah Jahan's time.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Mughal Dynasty, Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal; I. Mughal Agra, a Riverfront Garden City; II. The Construction of the Taj Mahal; III. More Than a Tomb: the Parts of the Taj Mahal; IV. The Paradisiacal House of the Queen; V. Everybody's Taj Mahal.

About the Author

Ebba Koch is on the staff of the Institut fur Kunstgeschichte (Institute of Art History) at the University of Vienna, and has been architectural adviser to the Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative since 2001. Her last book, Mughal Architecture, is now the standard work on the subject.

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