July 09: Taj Mahal of Agra is not alone in this world it has got its brethren in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh. It is surprise to all Indians to hear about another Taj but it is true. Bhopal cherishes a grand palace having the same name built around last half of nineteenth century by a Begum of Bhopal.
Director program, Architectural Heritage Division of Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) told that the Taj of Bhopal is one of the largest palaces of the world built at that time.
The dean of school of Architecture of Paris who is putting all his efforts to save the monuments built by Begum of Bhopal says that people are not aware of the Taj in Bhopal. It is one of the magnificent buildings of the world. But unfortunately this has been neglected and is about to vanish from the scene for lack of maintenance and is facing its slow demise.
“The Bhopal Workshop” - a project initiated by India and France has tried to draw the attention of the government to the remaining architectural pieces of Bhopal including Taj. Commercialization has made public blind to these old historical structures and monuments. To create awareness among the locals about the heritage an exhibition is also being held in New Delhi called ‘Living Architectural Heritage of Bhopal’.
According to the conservation architect Meera Das, the palace is a beautiful combination of Hindu and Islamic elements combined with little colonial impact.
Bhopal architecture is to be saved also because it is a unique combination of various styles such as British, French, Mughal, Arabic and Hindu.
We saved the Taj of Agra in the list of new wonders but there is one more to be saved so that we may be proud of having two Taj.