several controversies that claim that the Taj Mahal
was designed by an Italian Geronimo Veroneo, or a French silversmith Austin
de Bordeaux, the first real evidence of the architect's identity
emerged in the 1930s when a seventeenth century manuscript called the Diwan-i-Muhandis
was found to mention the Taj Mahal.
This manuscript contains a collection of several poems written by Luft Allah,
including several verses in which he describes his father, Ustad Ahmad from
Lahore, as the architect of the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort at Delhi. Ahmad was
a Persian engineer-astrologer.
Luft Allah also states that Shah Jehan conferred upon his father the title "Nadir
al-Asr" (the Wonder of the Age); unfortunately court histories do not corroborate
this claim. Other sources record that Ustad Ahmad was one of the architects
of the Red Fort.
Further evidence has been found of other large projects undertaken by Ustad
Ahmad, strengthening the plausibility of his son's claim. It is interesting
to note that Ustad Ahmad had a number of aliases : Ustad Khan Effendi, Ustad
Mohammed, Isa Khan, Isa Effendi and a number of permutations of the name - fictional
amalgam of Muslim sounding names, most likely the invention of latter-day British
It must be emphasised that the design of the Taj Mahal cannot be ascribed to
any single master-mind. The Taj is the culmination of an evolutionary process.
It is the perfected stage in the development of Mughal architecture. The names
of many of the builders who participated in the construction of the Taj in different
capacities have come down to us through Persian sources.
A project as ambitious
as the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal demanded talent from many quarters. From turkey
came Ismail Khan a designer of hemispheres and the a builder of domes. Qazim
Khan, a native of Lahore travelled to Agra to cast the solid gold finial that
crowned the Turkish master's dome.
Chiranjilal, a local lapidary from Delhi was chosen as the chief sculptor and
mosaicist. Amanat Khan from Shiraz was the chief calligrapher, and this fact
is attested on the Taj gateway where his name has been inscribed at the end
of the inscription.
Muhammad Hanif was the Supervisor of masons, while Mir Abdul Karim and Mukkarimat
Khan of Shiraz handled finances and the management of daily production. Sculptors
from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlayers from South India,
stonecutters from Baluchistan, a man who specialised in building turrets, another
who carved only marble flowers - thirty seven men in all formed the creative
nucleus, and to this core was added a labour force of twenty thousand workers
recruited from across North India.
Taj Mahal Buildings Details, Information
of Taj Mahal