either side of the Taj Mahal are buildings of red sandstone. The one to
the west is a Mosque. It faces towards Mecca and is used for prayer.
Before we have a look at the mosque, let us take note of a small stone
enclosure along the western boundary wall where the well of the Mosque
is located. This greenery shaded structure, measuring 19 ft. by 6.5 ft.
marks the site where the remains of Mumtaz Mahal were deposited when
first brought to Agra. From this temporary grave they were removed to
their present place of internment in the mausoleum.
On the outside the Mosque has pietra dura work twining across its
spandrels. The platform in front of the Mosque is of red sandstone. A
highly polished small marble piece is so fitted that it serves as a
mirror and one can see the mausoleum reflected in it. The floor is of
material which is exceedingly fine and sparkling and appears velvet red
in shade. On that 539 prayer carpets have been neatly marked out with
black marble. All over there is exquisite calligraphy and the name Allah
and quotations from scriptures inscribed. The ceiling is painted in a
strange, hypnotic design. The roof supports four octagonal towers and
three elegant domes. On either side of the Mosque, to the north and
south, and set along and upon the enclosure wall, there are two towers.