INDIA

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal significa “Palazzo della Corona” ed è di fatto la più bella e meglio conservata tomba del mondo. Fu costruita dal quinto imperatore Mughal , Shah Jahan, nel 1631 in memoria di sua moglie, Mumtaz Mahal una principessa originaria della Persia.

Mumtaz Mahal mori’ mentre accompagnava suo marito a Behrampur, durante una campagna per schiacciare una ribellione.

Aveva appena dato alla luce il loro quattordicesimo figlio.

La sua morte fu un vera tragedia per l’imperatore, al punto che i suoi capelli e la sua barba nel giro di pochi mesi diventarono completamente bianchi per il dolore.

Mentre Mumtaz Mahal era ancora in vita, aveva chiesto all’imperatore di farle quattro promesse nel caso in cui fosse morta prima di lui.

Per prima promessa gli chiese di costruire il Taj.

La seconda era che si sarebbe dovuto sposare di nuovo per dare una nuova mamma ai loro figli.

La terza promessa era che sarebbe sempre stato buono e comprensivo con i loro figli .

La quarta che avrebbe sempre visitato la sua tomba nell’anniversario della sua morte. La costruzione del Taj Mahal iniziò nel 1631. Ci vollero 22 anni perché fosse completata. Ventimila persone vennero impiegate per la sua costruzione.

Dopo aver seppellito l’imperatrice a Behrampur, dove era morta, era tempo che l’imperatore tenesse fede alla sua promessa e costruisse una tomba.

Ma visto che era praticamente impossibile trasferire tutto il marmo necessario là, Agra venne scelta come l’unica alternativa. La tomba di Mumtaz Mahal fu trasferita ad Agra dove fu posta nel Taj Mahal quando venne ultimata la sua costruzione.

Il Taj sorge su una base di pietra arenaria rossa sormontata da un’enorme terrazzo di marmo bianco sul quale si posa la famosa cupola affiancata dai quattro minareti affusolati.

La cupola è di marmo bianco, ma la sua posizione vicino al fiume fa si’ che un magico gioco di colori che cambiano durante le ore del giorno e a seconda delle stagioni, diano al Taj Mahal riflessi di colori che lo rendono unico ma sempre diverso.

Come un gioiello, il Taj scintilla al chiaro di luna quando le pietre semi-preziose incastonate nel marmo bianco sul mausoleo principale afferrano il bagliore dei raggi della luna.

Il Taj è rosato al mattino, bianco latteo alla sera e d’oro quando la luna splende.

Il Taj Mahal.. visto da Raffaele Mangano

Il posto migliore per ammirare il Taj Mahal è la sommità della torre ottagonale del Forte di Agra.

Lassù non arriva nessuno e all’interno delle mura si sente solo il canto degli uccelli o il rumoreggiare delle scimmie, padrone assolute degli spalti.

La folla frettolosa dei turisti e dei pellegrini indiani non ha tempo per salire sino al Forte e si accalca nella spianata producendo il tipico frastuono della gente vociante.

Il guardiano del Forte si chiama Mamdan Sing. Ha un’espressione allegra, media statura, corpulento, età matura.

Il turbante, alla maniera dei Sick, gli conferisce un’aria austera subito svanita quando abbiamo chiesto informazioni sul luogo e sul mausoleo.
Mamdan si è esibito in una vera e propria recita.

Spalancava gli occhi per mostrare stupore, oppure li socchiudeva come se dovesse ricordare i particolari della storia. Modulava la voce a seconda dell’importanza del fatto e accompagnava il tutto con ampi gesti delle mani.

Secondo il suo racconto fu l’imperatore Shah Jahan, della dinastia Mogul, a costruire il Taj Mahal e si trattò di un atto d’amore.

A differenza dei suoi antenati, Shah era talmente innamorato della moglie da disdegnare altre concubine.

Mamdan sostiene che Mumtaz Mahal fosse di una bellezza sconvolgente, la donna più affascinante del regno. Non sto a riportare l’enfasi con cui il nostro amico ha descritto la regina! Comunque Mumtaz morì nel partorire il quattordicesimo figlio e l’imperatore impazzì di dolore.

Per ricordare la sua amatissima moglie, Shah fece allora costruire il mausoleo, bianco come il colore del lutto. E lo volle imponente e sfolgorante.

Poi meditò di costruirne un secondo identico ma di colore nero e di collocarlo di fronte al primo. Ma non ne ebbe il tempo poiché una congiura di palazzo lo depose e lo rinchiuse proprio nel Forte.

“E da questa apertura -ha concluso Mamdan con aria solenne- l’imperatore contemplava il lento scorrere del fiume e osservava il suo Taj Mahal cambiare colore a seconda della luce del giorno, oppure lo scorgeva velato delle nebbie del mattino, come un miraggio o un sogno lontano. E così per quattro anni sino a che morì.”

Abbiamo applaudito con calore, mentre lui teneva le mani giunte e gli occhi teatralmente chiusi.

Sono rimasto affacciato alla finestra della torre.

E pensavo al racconto di Mamdam e all’imperatore che tre secoli fa era stato rinchiuso in quelle stanze. Magari osservava il mausoleo proprio dal punto in cui mi trovavo!

Voltandomi verso l’interno del Forte ho avuto la sensazione del tempo sospeso.

Nulla è cambiato da secoli e non mi sarei meravigliato se all’improvviso fosse apparso qualcuno vestito con un costume Moghul. L’idea mi ha provocato un brivido e mi sono avviato per raggiungere gli altri

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