Umair Ali describes some Impressive mausoleums & iconic structures
Impressive mausoleums currently are fast going out of fashion but there exist many of them that are rated highly in public perception. They represent the reverence associated with an outstanding personality or a strong memory deeply etched in the minds of people. These edifices remain the focus of attention of countless visitors who come to pay homage and appreciate their beauty and style.
Taj Mahal is foremost amongst such commemorative monuments that is one of the most impressive and famous monuments. Located in Agra, this beautiful white marble mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in honour of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth of their fourteenth son. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632 and took about 22 years. The main building has four minarets, each 40 meters high, and has a total height of 73 meters. The complex also includes a large entrance gate, a mosque and a guest house. The building is decorated with details in precious stones, such as jasper, carnelian, lapis lazuli and jade, and the inscriptions on the walls are in Islamic calligraphy. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Despite its beauty and majesty, the Taj Mahal has suffered damage over the centuries due to environmental pollution and nearby traffic.
To preserve its splendour, several restoration works have been carried out.
Mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh located in Hanoi Vietnam was built in memory of revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh who was the first president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The mausoleum is constructed of gray granite and features imposing and austere architecture. Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body is located in an inner room of the building, protected by a glass box and flanked by military guards in uniform. It is a popular tourist attraction in Vietnam and is visited by thousands of tourists every year. In addition to the room where Ho Chi Minh’s body is located, the complex also includes a museum and a lotus garden.
Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi is an impressive funerary monument built in the 16th century as the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun who ruled India in the 16th century. The tomb is a sample of Mughal architecture, with its distinctive double-domed design and its use of red masonry and white marble. It was built by Humayun’s wife, Queen Hamida Banu Begum, and designed by the Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. The edifice is an early example of combining elements of Persian and Indian architecture. The complex also features a garden that extends over an area of 30 acres, including fountains, canals and walkways. After years of neglect and deterioration, the tomb was restored and renovated beginning in the 1990s and in 1993, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Bourguiba Mausoleum located in Monastir, Tunisia is a funerary monument dedicated to the first president of the Republic of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba. It was built in 1963, during Bourguiba’s tenure, as a tribute to his leadership and contributions to the country. The mausoleum is an impressive white marble building, designed by Tunisian architect Jelel Lahmar. Its circular shape represents the unity of the country and its golden dome symbolizes the glory and power of the Tunisian leader. The interior of the mausoleum features a series of rooms and galleries displaying objects related to Bourguiba’s life and career, including photographs, documents and awards he received during his tenure. Bourguiba’s tomb is located in the center of the mausoleum and is surrounded by a series of fountains and gardens. The mausoleum also has a mosque inside, as well as a library and museum.
Mazar-e-Quaid located in Karachi is the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. It is a popular pilgrimage and tourist site for both Pakistanis and foreign visitors. The mausoleum was designed by architect Yahya Merchant and built in the 1960s. It is built in a modern style, with a white dome that rises to 43 meters high and is visible from much of the city. The interior of the mausoleum is impressive, with a large burial chamber housing the remains of Jinnah and other important leaders of Pakistan. The burial chamber is adorned with black and white marble, and the ceiling is covered with mirrored glass that reflects sunlight and creates an impressive effect. In addition to the burial chamber, the mausoleum also features a prayer room, a library and a museum displaying Jinnah’s personal items, including his clothes, desk and pocket watch. TW