'Let those who scoff at overmuch enthusiasm look at the Taj and henceforward be dumb'-Rudyard Kipling
The Taj Mahal is the Queen of architecture. Other buildings may be as famous but no other has been so consistently admired for a beauty that is seen as both feminine and regal. Imperial tomb, symbol of India, symbol of love, brand of tea-the Taj can be what you want it to be. Drawing on a huge range of sources from Mughal court histories to Bollywood movies, this superb book gives us a history of the Taj and its many meanings.
Giles Tillotson recounts the human drama behind the building, particularly the relationship between Shah Jahan and his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who lie there. He explores its reputation through history as a Wonder of the World, its representation in art, and analyses the secrets of its architectural success. He describes the troubled story of its conservation and records the recent disputes about its ownership, treatment and exploitation.
The Taj holds a secure place in the world's collective consciousness; Taj Mahal is a rigorous and vivid account of how this came to be.