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Similarities between the Taj Mahal and the Alai Darwaza Essay

Similarities between the Taj Mahal and the Alai Darwaza, 470 words essay example

Essay Topic: irrigation, time, islam, trade

At first glance, there do not appear to be many similarities between the Taj Mahal and
the Alai Darwaza beyond the sheer size and might of both structures. However, upon further
reflection this is definitely not the case as both structures match each other in factors beyond
public admiration and awe. As both architectural masterpieces are found in India and were
built before the modern area, it is easy to believe that their ultimate purpose was the same.
This notion is just the beginning of the comparisons between the pieces, and the contrasts can
be exemplified by the basic materials used in each construction.
The Alai Darwaza, or the Gate of Ala al-Din, was built in 1311 CE by the Sultan Ala al-Din
Khalji. This gate is one part of the larger structure of monuments and buildings known as
Quwwat al-Islam or the Might of Islam. Alai Darwaza serves as the entry and exit way to the set
of minurets, temples, and mosques that compose the compound. The bricks are made of red
sandstone and some areas of the building are covered in white marble. All of the bricks are
carved with various types of intricate flower patterns, symbolizing the worship of, but not
forbidden idolatry of, the Koran and the Muslim religion itself. The structure was meant to
showcase the importance of Islam throughout Delhi, throughout India, south east Asia, and
beyond to trade partners. As such there were multiple structures that comprise the site
including a mosque, the tallest brink minuret in the world, cenotaphs of famous leaders of the
time, and strong evolved arches and domes. One such dome sits atop the Alai Darwaza and
serves as a prime example of dome construction and craftsmanship from the Mathura region.
The Taj Mahal contained carved intricate flower patterns with deference to the worship
of Islam and sacred text the Koran. Built by emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658 CE) for his wife,
the structure is built of white marble with resplendent true domes showcasing the evolved
style of the Mughal empire. There are inlays of precious gems all over the building, which
server to emphasize the emperor's affinity and wealth. The Taj Mahal contains the cenotaph of
the deceased spouse of the emperor, as well as calligraphic passages from the religion's sacred
text. The mosque inside the dome is positioned in the correct spot so that the mihrab faces
north, the proper direction of mecca for prayers. Unlike Ala al-Din and its gateway, the Taj
Mahal was planned and executed with a large quadruple garden to maintain symmetry and
harmony, as well as an ahead of its time irrigation system. The tank, pipe, and pump system
was used to regulate the flow of water to the garden and also assist in maintaining floods to the
grounds and building itself. Whereas the might of Islam was constructed mainly of red
sandstone, the Taj Mahal glimmers with gems and a white marble exterior placed adjacent to
the Yamuna River in India.

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