Description : One of the seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal stands as a symbol of eternal love along the banks of river Yamuna. A beautiful white marble mausoleum, Taj Mahal was built between 1631 and 1648 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Today, Taj Mahal is the jewel of the Muslim art in India and one the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.
The Taj Mahal dates from the 17th century, as tomb for the favourite wife of Mughal-emperor Shah Jahan. She died at the birth of her 14th child in 1630. In grief, Shah Jahan decided to construct for her a monument to show his eternal love. It stands on the right bank of the Yamuna, about 1.5 km from the Agra Fort. The Taj Mahal was built to enshrine the remains of Arjmand Banu Begam entitled Mumtaz Mahal, the consort of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The name Taj Mahal is derived from her nick-name Mumtaz Mahal: pearl or crown of the palace.
The construction of Taj Mahal commenced in AD 1631 and completed 22 years later at enormous cost and labour. The architect responsible for the construction was Ustad Ahmed Lahori. Unlike other Mughal garden tombs, the mausoleum is situated at the northern end of a large rectangular area with its central portion divided into a square garden. The entire portion is enclosed within a high boundary wall having broad octagonal pavilions at corners. It is enclosed in a garden amidst fountains and ornamental trees. The walled complex further includes two mosques and an imposing gateway. The Taj Mahal is entered through a majestic gateway in the centre of the southern side where there is a spacious quadrangle. Constructed on a 313 square feet marble platform, it reflects the best examples of Indo-Islamic 'baroque' style.
According to legend, Shah Jahan planned to erect a black version as tomb for himself on the other side of the river. A bridge should connect the two monuments.