Also called the Guest House, Naqqar Khana, Mihman Khana or the Assembly Hall, The Taj Mahal Rest House is situated on the eastern side of the mausoleum of Mumtaz. Legend around the Rest House is that it was created to complete the bilateral symmetry of The Taj Mahal and thus is also called the ‘jawab’ or the answer as it balances the architectural harmony of the whole complex. The ‘jawab’ although is considered to be the replica of the Mosque which is in front of it across the Taj Mahal, it lacks the structure of Mihrab which generally is built to depict the direction of Mecca towards which Muslims face to perform their prayers. This is the distinction in the Rest Room from the mosque and is deliberately taken. The Rest Room has never been used for prayers and mosques are supposed to have this Mihrab structure which is mandatory. The Rest House is made in Red sandstone and is also inlaid with marbles, which adds up to the beauty of the structure. It has an imposing portal called the mini Iwan on either side. The structure also has 3 marble domes which are covered with marble and is also adorned with various other structures which include flower topped pinnacles with traditional lotus design and 4 little domed kiosks with marble veneer. The finial that is evident today was perched in 1940 when the complex was being renovated. There is little known about the purpose of the construction of the Rest House and it is still ambiguous. The theory that it was constructed to provide symmetry to the complex is widely accepted by Historians. There is another theory regarding its existence that it was constructed to observe Mumtaz Mahal’s death anniversary and was also used as a staying place for pilgrims which came here on caravan. The gist of it all is that the presence of the Rest House opposite the mosque has increased the opulence of the Taj Mahal.
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