The Taj Mahal is a study of detail. In the fullest expression of Indo-Islamic art, the Taj Mahal is a masterful synthesis of imperial hierarchy, Indian luxury, and Islamic piety.
The Taj Mahal is thoroughly decorated with Quranic calligraphy, scrolling and swirling over surfaces throughout the complex. Historically, the region was Hindu – not Muslim – and many of the workers were not Muslim. Therefore, the aesthetics are a full Indo-Islamic blend, with all the artistic expression of the Muslim artists, tempered by Quranic regulations on figure depictions, and enhanced with Hinduistic energy and overflow of sensuous curvature.
Inside the mausoleum, where the beloved Mumtaz Mahal rests, the paradisiacal garden flourishes. Bouquets of flowers bloom over decorative marble panelling. The flowers are not able to be categorized but exist rather in a heavenly space, the ideal buds and flowering vines of heaven.
The cenotaphs or tomb-monuments (not real burial places, but representative of the actual tomb) of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal burst from the stone in glorious contrasting poppy and yellow-flower designs, painted and inlaid with semi-precious stones This technique, known as pietra dura, demonstrated the superiority of craftsmanship contracted for the Taj Mahal. It’s a technique that is long-lasting and luxurious. It is also noteworthy that the floral designs took precedence over Quranic calligraphy. This is a subtle assertion of Shah Jahan’s imperial authority, as his rule was compared in poetry and praise to that of a rose or flower garden in the blush of spring.