Arabic Calligraphy in Taj Mahal

What is calligraphy?

Calligraphy is a tradition of handwriting. It is design and execution of letters with pen, or brush or other instrument. It takes a lot of practice to be a good calligrapher. The word calligraphy is supposed to originate from kalligrahia word of Greek language. This word is based upon the synthesis of two Greek words – Kallis + Graphein. Kallis means beauty while graphein signify write. Thus the word denotes beautiful writing.

Arabic Calligraphy Writing

Islamic architecture and art form extensively deal with calligraphic art. This tradition is strongly tied to the Quran and its Suras. Persian art and Arabic traditions have major impetus on calligraphic art. Most of the Islamic monuments in India and other parts of Asia and the Middle East adopted calligraphy on the surface of mausoleums and other palaces from the religious point of view. The Islamic calligraphy is famous all over the globe and it is done in angular and cursive style. Some common scripts of Arabic used in calligraphy are Kufic, Naskh, Nataliq, Thuluth, Riqah etc.

Since the growth of the civilization language has been a powerful means of communication. In various civilizations mankind has used and still is using different languages and scripts, Calligraphic art has played a vital role in decorating the sentence in different scripts of Egyptian, Indian, Chinese, Arab and some other languages of the world. Arab calligraphy is the decorative art of hand writing.

Taj Mahal Calligraphy

The beauty of the Taj Mahal entices everybody for various factors and calligraphic art is one of the dominant factors. Abdul Haq was the chief supervisor behind this art and he was given the epithet as “Amanat Khan” by the emperor Shahjahan. This beautiful art is done by black marble letters in the white marble. During the Taj Mahal Tour you can encounter this beautiful calligraphy work an understand meaning from Taj Mahal Tour Guide. This was first of all designed on paper, the letters in black marble were shaped on emery powder wheel and according to the shape of the letters the grooves in the white marble were already prepared. Thus these black letters were inlaid into the white marble grooves with the help of glue.

Special feature about the calligraphic work of the Taj Mahal is that all these are proportional. On the top they are designed broader and like wisely they decrease from tiptoe and increase from bottom. Thus if you look at this work in the Taj from a little far, it gives the same impression of the size of the letters. The calligraphic work in the Taj dome is in the Arabic language and the texts are the extracts from different Suras of the holy Quran.

Taj Mahal calligraphy is created as a fabulous ornamentation and consists of the verses from the holy Quran. The calligraphic Art was envisaged by Amanat Khan Shiraji who left his signature also at certain places like most of the artists do with their creation. The black marble is used in the white marble and provides a contrast. This has been meticulously done on the Northern Gateway and calls the visitors to enter the Paradise Gardens. Thus the Gardens of the Taj Mahal are designed on the theme of the Paradise Gardens. Once you alight the stairs leading towards the main tomb the theme of the calligraphy based on the impending dawn and the day of the justice but as you enter the main tomb the calligraphy again deals with the subject of the Paradise.

The outer parts of the Taj Mahal edifice are highly ornamented with the Quaranic verses from surah 36 (ya sin) surah 39 (The crowds) Surah 89 (Day break) to name a few. In the main mausoleum 99 names of mighty Allah are inscribed and god is described as “O Noble, O magnificent, so unique, o Glorious. The tombs of the emperor Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal are encircled by a beautiful lattice work which is inscribed as “He travelled from the mortal world to the Banquet hall of eternity on the night of 26th the month of Rajab in 1076 Hijr.” The tomb also has beautiful floral decorations.