A superlative volume showing in detail and with historic drawings, maps, and photos, as well modern illustrations and reconstructions the unsurpassed achievements of the Mughal in residential garden architecture.

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist:
Though readers may know that Shah Jahan of India's seventeenth-century Mogul dynasty built the Taj Mahal, an immense funerary garden palace and compound, in the memory of his beloved queen Mumtaz, Koch, architectural advisor to the Taj Mahal Conservation Collaborative, provides groundbreaking analysis of the structure's architecture and importance. This gorgeous, large-scale, and accessibly scholarly volume combines eye-pleasing delight with detailed explanations of the monument's design, construction, symbolism, and history, including its sociopolitical context. Indian architect Richard Barraud's drawings reconstruct the Taj complex as it looked in Shah Jahan's time, providing views into the past, as this complex was designed and built as an integral element of Mogul Agra, a garden city along the Yamuna River. Complete with the genealogy of Shah Jahan, numerous color and black-and-white photographs, precise measurements of the entire compound, a glossary, and more, this is an unparalleled resource for aficionados of Muslim Indian culture and architecture. Whitney Scott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

The greatest monument to love, and the lost world of the Agra gardens, 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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