Indian was quite often conceived as a means of religious expression. Both Buddhism and Islam are common religions in India, and because of this it is common to find art that represents both religions. I am especially fond of sculptural works of Indian art. The Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is an example of Indian sculpture derived from the Buddhist religion, and the Taj Mahal is an example of Indian architecture that comes mostly from the Islamic tradition. These two parts differ dramatically in size and scale, however the shapes have much in common.
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, India. It was established during the Mughal period during the reign of Shah Jahan. It was built around 1632-1648., It is located on the banks of the Yamuna River, located on the north side of India. It was originally created to become a mausoleum for Shah Jahan’s wife, who ruled from 1628 to 1658.
To get to the TaJ Mahal, you will first come to a huge gate in the complex. When you enter the gate, the tomb stands in front of the spectator. There is a large garden and a reflective pool. The garden is 1,000 feet by 1,900 feet and it is divided into four sections, each filled with plantings of trees and flowers. Around each garden there are paths removed from the inlaid stone that forms the geometric patterns.
When the Taj Mahal was first built, the paths were lined with fruit trees and cypresses, which were supposed to symbolize life and death. There were also fountains in the shallow pools. Court musicians would fill the space, making it a very magical space.
At the back of the garden is a tomb. On the sides of the tomb is a mosque and a building that looks identical to the mosque and is used as a lounge. Both of these buildings sit on the same base as the tomb and seem to visually balance the mass of the tomb itself. The buildings themselves consist mainly of red sandstone. On the other hand, the large central tomb consists of white marble that really shines next to the red sandstone buildings that line it.
The tomb sits on its own base. As in the tomb, the base of the tomb is made of white marble. The entire tomb building is raised higher than other buildings on its marble platform. In each corner of the surrounding Taj Mahal there are four minarets that look like slender towers. Three different levels of minarets correspond to the tombs, symbolically creating a connection between them.
At the top of each minaret sits a tent or pavilion. In traditional Indian palaces Chattri were a common architectural feature. Chatters have their roots in the Islamic religion. Minarets also originate from the Islamic tradition. They were to be of such great height that they compelled all Islamic people to call for prayer. The general structure of the Taj Mahal is very curvilinear and has a certain smoothness. Another work of Indian art that mimics the curvilinear lines of the Taj Mahal is the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva.
The Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is originally from Kurkihar, Bihar, Central India. This is a work from the late Middle Ages. Originates from the Paul dynasty in the 12th century AD. It is made of gilded bronze and sits about 10 inches high. It is currently housed in the Patna Museum in Patras.
A bodhisattva is a person who has advanced on the path to enlightenment in the beliefs of Buddhism. The goal of the Madhana Buddhists was to help all those they encountered to reach the path to enlightenment. Avalokitesvara is a bodhisattva of the greatest compassion. Avolokiteshvara promised to abandon construction until everyone else became a Buddhist. Because of this he was one of the most populous bodhisattvas.
In the statue of Avolakiteshvara he is depicted in his princely garb, not dressed as a Buddha, who is always depicted in an ordinary monastic mantle. Avakalokiteshvara is recognized specifically for the lotus flower he holds and for the crown of his father’s Buddha. The parent Buddha Avolakitesvara is the Buddha Amitabha of the Western Pure Land, which was a Buddhist version of paradise.
Avolokiteshvara is also depicted with three eyes, which means to say that he had the opportunity to see in miraculous ways. In the pose that Avolakiteshvara assumes in this statue, he is depicted in a casual pose known as a royal pose. One leg is slightly extended and directed downwards, and the other leg is folded at the knees and rests on the lotus seat, which is considered an emblem of spiritual purity. His torso creates a curved fluid, and his arms are slightly bent and also have a certain smoothness.
Both the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva and the Taj Mahal are examples of Indian sculptures. The Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva is a Buddhist statue, and the Taj Mahal is an Islamic tomb. Despite this, these details have a lot in common in how the lines of the piece are processed.