The Garden Guide

Book: C.M Villiers Stuart Gardens of the Great Mughals
Chapter: Chapter 3 The Gardens of the Taj Mahal

Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan gardens

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Most of these blossoms reappear inlaid on the actual tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan, and they decorate the famous screen which surrounds the graves. This screen, the flower dado, and the Sultana's bath in the Jasmine Tower of the fort, exhibit to perfection that marvellous decorative feeling which seems inborn in Oriental craftsmen. Each is a masterpiece in its combination of inlaid jewelled colour and delicate marble carving. It is impossible to decide which is the most faultless: the screen, seen in the dim light under the dome, with its lattice-work of lilies and its upper rail, whereon a row of marble vases blooming with never-fading flowers stand round the shrine; the marble flower-beds without; or the fountain-bath of the Jasmine Tower. Where the four shallow curves of the fountain basin are carved with the flow of the water, the vivid red and green of the inlaid flowers and leaves shine through the ripples like the pebbles of the wet sea-beach, and the white marble lily-buds seem to float away, dragged down by the swirl of the stream.