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Elizabeth B. Moynihan
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Second Story Books
This definitive volume describes the discoveries of an international project documenting the surface remains of a long-abandoned Mughal garden, spectacularly located directly across the river from the Taj Mahal. The book is illustrated with new photographs of the Taj Mahal and the garden -- now identified as the Mahtab Bagh, or Moonlight Garden -- as well as with paintings from Shahjahan's era.
Modeled after the Persian concept of earthly paradise, the pleasure gardens of 17th-century Mughal emperors exhibited elaborate renditions of cut-stone architecture, water chutes, standing pools, flowing fountains, and plantings intended to stimulate the senses. Well-ordered oases in an otherwise hot, dusty, and chaotic environment, these gardens were places of respite and enjoyment. The authors show that in plan, proportion, and directional alignment, the Moonlight Garden is indeed an integral part of the designof the gardens at the Taj Majal, presenting an expansive new interpretation of one of the most famous buildings in the world.
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