Comparison And Contrast Of The Taj Mahal And The Stupa At Sanchi

888 words - 4 pages

In the following essay, I will be comparing and contrasting to architectural pieces by the Indians. The first is the Taj Mahal, a building constructed from white marble that took seventeen years to build in honor of Shah Jahan’s wife, Mumtaz Mahal (Z. Haq). This piece of architectural beauty belonged to the Mughal’s, the Muslim emperors in India (Z. Haq). The second is the Great Stupa at Sanchi, a holy, dome shaped structure that covers the body of the Buddha in honor of him and his contributions to Buddhism (Fischer, Julia). This structure was made of ruins, rocks, mud, and covered in bricks (Fischer, Julia). Both pieces of architecture are significant to the Indians, however they do ...view middle of the document...

The minarets, towers where the call of prayer projects from, are 162.5 feet tall (Pillai, Maya). It is said that the minarets were pushed slightly inwards so that they could look perfectly symmetrical with the building. The Taj Mahal is built at a certain area so that the dome could reflect the beautiful light of the sun at dawn, and the moon at night (Pillai, Maya). The stupa at Sanchi is much smaller in size than the Taj Mahal, mainly because it is shaped like a dome, not a building. The stupa is around 71 feet high (Pradesh, Madhya). Above the dome lies an umbrella with 3 levels that represent: The Buddha, the monastic order, and the law (Fischer, Julia). These symbolize the 3 important factors of the Buddha religion (Fischer, Julia).
Both, the Taj Mahal and the stupa at Sanchi are sacred, however, the stupa is more sacred. Both the Taj Mahal and the stupa both contain graves of dead bodies, the Taj Mahal containing the graves of Shah Jahan and his wife, while the stupa at Sanchi covers the grave of the Buddha (Z. Haq). Also, both structures are related to prayer. On the left of the Taj Mahal, there is a mosque where muslims go to to fulfill their prayers, especially on a friday afternoon. In the stupa, people revolve around the stupa to worship the Buddha and pray for him (Fischer, Julia). This is where things get different. The stupa is a holy place that can’t be entered, only built as a form of respect for the Buddha and to worship him. However, the Taj Mahal attracts many tourists from many places...

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