Taj Mahal in Agra is a monumental to eternal love. In the Persian language, Taj Mahal means the “Crown of Palaces’. This is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra, western Uttar Pradesh state, northern India.
It was built in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to immortalize his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died in childbirth in 1631.
This also houses the vault of Shah Jahan himself. The vault is the centerpiece of a 17-hectare 42-acre complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a fancied wall.
Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture with a blend of Indian, Persian, and Islamic styles. Taj Mahal has other attractions to lovely gardens and a museum
Taj mahal construction is based on five principal elements, main gateway, garden, mosque, jawāb, and mausoleum (including its four minarets). This is a unified entity according to the tenets of Mughal building practice, which allowed no subsequent addition or alteration.
The plans for the complex construction have been assigned to various architects of that time. though the chief architect was probably Ustad Aḥmad Lahawrī, an Indian of Persian descent. The original site of the Taj Mahal was supposed to be Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh where Mumtaz Mahal died. But due to a lack of white marbles in that area, Agra was chosen as the final spot for the memorial. Construction of the Taj Mahal took a span of 22 years in the 42-acre (17-hectare) complex. The Taj Mahal is taller than the Qutb Minar by about five feet. The minarets of the Taj Mahal are built to tilt outwards to prevent the tomb from suffering any damage in case of calamities like earthquakes.
It took more than 22000 skilled artisans, laborers, painters, stonecutters, and a huge amount of 32 million rupees to build the Taj Mahal. Apart from the mausoleum, the Taj complex houses a mosque, a museum, a guest house, and ornamental gardens.
Taj Mahal Garden
The Taj Mahal is surrounded by a 980 sq. ft. Charbagh is also known as the Mughal garden. An elevated marble water tank placed between the main gate and the tomb adds to the beauty of the whole place. The Taj Gardens were originally modeled on the famous Persian gardens. However, when the colonial rulers took possession of the Taj, they changed the garden’s landscape and made it look like the lawns in London. Raised pathways divide the garden into 16 sunken flower beds.
Things to See in the Taj Mahal
- The Taj Museum
- Taj Mahal has 3 different gates: Fatehabadi Darwaza (East Gate), Fatehpuri Darwaza (West Gate), and Sidhi Darwaza (South Gate)
- Mehmaan Khana or assembly hall identical to the mosque
- A red sandstone mosque situated on the west of the mausoleum
The Taj Mahal is a timeless love story celebrated in marble.