If there’s one place in India that has been winning the hearts of travelers for hundreds of years and will continue to do so for hundreds more, it’s the Taj Mahal. It is a grand mausoleum built in Mughal architectural style by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is located in Agra which is a few hours’ drive from the capital city, Delhi. The pristine white marvel is not only an architectural wonder but also the epitome of love which is why the structure is bestowed with the honour of being one of the Seven Wonders of the World. One cannot be on an India tour and leave without getting a glimpse of this beauty. Since the monument is so momentous, here is everything you need to know about it so that whenever you visit, you have a more fulfilling and wholesome experience.
In the year 1632, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the construction of the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his dearly loved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their child. The construction completed in almost 22 years when the chief architect, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, along with his 20000 artisans took to the task of creating the masterpiece, and the cost of its construction during that time amounted to a whopping 32 million rupees!
Rumour has it that Shah Jahan ordered to mutilate all the artisans involved in the creation of the Taj Mahal so that the marvel would never be replicated. The structure now houses the tomb of both Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, making it the exemplar of an epic love story.
A mix of Persian and Mughal architecture, the mausoleum is made of ivory-white marble that gives it its pristine look. The central dome is surrounded by four minarets and, along with the structure, the complex consists of Mughal garden spread over an area of 300 meters. The exterior of the mausoleum features calligraphy of Persian poems and verses from the Holy Quran while the interior is adorned with intricate gem work and incised paintings on its walls. This very fine work is what makes Taj Mahal one of the most loved places to visit in India.