Ustad Ahmad Ma'mar Lahori


One of the architects of the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan, determined that no other ruler should ever copy his glorious masterpiece, Taj Mahal, near Delhi, got 20,000 workers involved in the project. Workers, many of them, were brought from Iran and Central Asia. Some of the senior men who worked there were, from Iran, the chief architect Ustad Isa Afrandi, and, from Turkey, the calligrapher Amanat Khan Shirazi and the head of the dome-making team, Ismail Khan Afridi. It took 17 years to complete one of the wonders of the world. The material used to build the masterpiece were brought in from all over India and neighbouring countries - marble from the quarries of Makrana in the Indian desert state of Rajasthan, turquoise from Tibet, jade from China, lapis lazuli and sapphire from Sri Lanka - and carried to the site by a fleet of 1,000 elephants. The white marble of the Taj is so perfectly cut and polished that it reflects light at its different intensities throughout the days. It changes from rose at dawn to almost translucent white at the height of a sunny day. But the most fabulous time of all is when it reflects the moonlight.

Compiler: M. Nauman Khan / Ghulam Mohiuddin

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