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                NAQQAR
       KHANA


The Rest House



On the east side of the Taj stands the twin of the Mosque, a parallel structure also made of red sandstone, referred to as the jawab, or "answer". Because it faced away from the Mecca, it was never used for prayer. Its presence there has always been something of an enigma. Was it a caravanserai for pilgrims, or a meeting hall before the faithful gathered before prayer? More plausible is the theory that its purpose was purely architectural, to counterbalance the Mosque and preserve the symmetry of the entire design on the platform.

The jawab is similar to the Mosque. However, it does not contain the accessories which go with a mosque, and, instead of Koranic inscriptions, there are beautiful flower designs and other decoration effectively done in white marble on the red sandstone background. On the floor between the building and the mausoleum there is a full size reproduction of the pinnacle adorning the Taj. This gives some idea of the true proportions (31 ft.) of what from below appears to be a tiny thing.

 

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