Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Viceroy Lord Curzon's bronze lamp in the Taj Mahal - Curzon's great gesture

Viceroy Curzon's bronze lamp in the Taj. taj-mahal.net
Curzon's bronze lamp above tombs,The Taj Mahal.taj-mahal.net 
Any visitor to the Taj Mahal in Agra, UP near Delhi would have definitely noticed a beautiful bronze lamp  hanging over the false mausoleums of great Mogul ruler Shah Jahan and  his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal to whom Shah jahan dedicated this most beautiful edifice in the world. If you know the donor of this lamp to the Taj, you will be in for a surprise. It is none other than Lord George Curzon 
( 11 January 1859 – 20 March 1925),

Viceroy George Curson, British India. en. wikipedia. org. 
Above image: The Lord Curzon of Kedleston as Viceroy of India; reign: 6 January 1899 – 18 November 1905. Monarch: Victoria and Edward VII.Political party: Conservative. Played a great role during the Imperial Delhi Durbar (1903).............. 

 
Viceroy of repute during the Raj. It was one of 
Curzon’s gifts to the Taj Mahal. Lord Curson, one of the energetic senior British India officials had a fascination for beautiful artistic works and monuments  and took deep interest in them. In the case of the Taj, because of its unparallelled grandeur and lavishing beauty, he held the Mogul building closer to his heart and, if occasion demanded, he had spent a good deal of his money as well as  that of the government's to keep the monument in good shape.

Lord Curzon's brass lamp, The taj Mahal. imgpic.org 
Whenever Curzon had taken time off, it was his keen desire to visit the monuments close by. One day upon his visit to the Taj, he was literally in a state of shock and appalled to see dim and poorly lit lamps being used to show him around the mausoleum. He felt such dim lamps were unsuitable for a majestic building like the Taj Mahal. Lord Curzon made up his mind to have a nice-looking lamp on the model of
a replica of the one that once hung from the mosque of Sultan Baibars I in Egypt. Having found that particular lamp to use it a model he was looking for was missing, Curzon was a bit disappointed. However, he did not give up his mission to have a new bronze lamp installed  over the mausoleum in the Taj. When he came to know that the local artisans knew how the lamp he had in mind looked like and they had the skill and expertise to produce a replica, Curzon commissioned the creation of a lamp for the Taj Mahal. In this regard, he had consultations with two Egyptian scholars as to the details of the proposed lamp. One good trait about lord Curzon is he never compromised on quality and strongly believed in perfection. An experienced artisan  by the name of  Todros Badir  was chosen by him to execute the job. As much importance was given to the details of the lamp and artistic work, it took not less than two years to  complete the work on the bronze lamp that majestically is now hanging over the mausoleum of the two great souls. An interesting feature of this Lord Curzon's bronze lamp
is the careful inscription in Persian to match the script used by calligraphers in the Taj. The inscription says “Presented to the Tomb of Mumtaz Mahal by Lord Curzon, Viceroy 1906.” Some critics call it  an eccentric gesture to express his appreciation of the architecture.

If I had never done anything else in India, I have written my name here and the letters are a living joy" These are the words Lord Curzon used whilst making a speech from the terrace of the Taj Mahal. The lamp that has hung from the dome  has been shining upon the two tombs since the early nineteen hundreds. 

During the recent cleaning operation of The Taj Mahal’s century-old chandelier was damaged a bit. Though  accidental, it was a glaring act of negligence, It was one of the two gifted by then Viceroy, Lord.Curzon in the early 20th century. The chandelier made of copper that adorned  one of the royal gates, was installed in 1909. Weighing around 60kg, it was crafted at the Mayo School of Art in Lahore.  The visitors can not miss this beautifully made chandelier.

http://www.india.com/travel/articles/5-facts-about-the-taj-mahal-you-probably-didnt-know-of/