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Taj Mahal: The Garden Tomb
10th September 2024
Presented by James Allan


Now retired, but was curator of the Islamic collection and Keeper of Eastern Art at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford University, where he also set up an inter-faith exhibition service and taught Islamic art and architecture.  Leads tours in the Middle East and has published numerous articles and books on Islamic art, the most recent being, The art and architecture of Twelver Shi’ism:Iraq, Iran and the Indian Subcontinent.


Shah Jahan’s Taj Mahal, one of the wonders of the world, is the architectural culmination of a series of monumental Mughal tombs, those of Humayun (in Delhi), Akbar (in Sikandra) and Jahangir (in Lahore).  But instead of the quartered garden which normally surrounded such a tomb, Shah Jahan chose the traditional Agra riverfront garden, in order to create for his deceased beloved, Mumtaz Mahal,a garden worthy of Paradise.  The Taj Mahal thus combines extraordinary beauty with deep spirituality.


A member of The Arts Society
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