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Taj Mahal gardens align perfectly with the sun during the summer and winter solstice, new research

Image Source: User Nikkul (wiki) cc-by-2.0

Image Source: User Nikkul (wiki) cc-by-2.0

Your visit to Taj Mahal got little more interesting, provided you are planning to spend a full day with a specific interest in science, off course history of Taj Mahal will always be fascinating.

A recent research has indicated Taj Mahal gardens align perfectly with the sun during the summer and winter solstice. Most Mughal gardens are rectangular with a tomb or pavilion in the center, the Taj Mahal garden is unusual because its main element, the white Mausoleum, is located at the end of the garden.

* Summer solstice is the longest day and winter solstice is smallest day of the year.

The Taj Mahal complex has a north-south axis.  When an architectonic structure is aligned in this manner, it is aligned to the projection on the horizontal plane of the ‘axis mundi’, the axis about which the world is rotating.

The enclosure of the garden is a symbolic horizon, where its axis is representing the ‘axis mundi’. On the solstices, from the centre of the rectangular enclosure, we can see the sun rising and setting at its four corners.

if you look towards the northeast pavilion during the summer solstice, on June 21, you’ll see the sun rise directly above it. Later in the day, the sun sets below a pavilion in the northwest. During the winter solstice, the sun rises above a pavilion in the southeast and sets behind another in the southwest.

Using SunCalc, the gardens of Taj Mahal and the directions of sunrise (yellow) and sunset (orange) on the winter and summer solstices.

Using SunCalc, the gardens of Taj Mahal and the directions of sunrise (yellow) and sunset (orange) on the winter and summer solstices. 

 If we use the reference point at the center of the southern part of the garden, we see that the directions of sunrise (yellow) and sunset (orange) on winter and summer solstices are passing through the pavilions at the four corners of the garden.

If we use the reference point at the center of the southern part of the garden, we see that the directions of sunrise (yellow) and sunset (orange) on winter and summer solstices are passing through the pavilions at the four corners of the garden.

The researchers further conclude; Mughal gardens were created with the symbolic meaning of Gardens of Eden, with the four main canals flowing from a central spring to the four corners of the world. Here, we have shown that some of these gardens could have  elements of their layouts, oriented to the directions of sunrise and sunset on solstices. 

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