Taj Mahal, a universally admired UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a monument epitomizing love of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz. Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world.
Some Western historians also define it as a monument whose architectural beauty has never been surpassed by many others. Taj Mahal is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals in India and also the most important tourist attraction in Agra. Made up of white marble, its astonishing architectural beauty is beyond any description. Located by the river of Yamuna in Agra, it is believed to glow in the light of the full moon. It is on the full moon day that the monument sees accumulation of huge crowds to witness its serene look. On a winter morning, when the Taj is shrouded by fog, it appears to be suspended in mid-air, thereby surprising the visitors to no end.
Taj Mahal in Agra stands on top of a red sandstone base on which lies the huge white marble terrace. On the white marbled terrace rests the famous dome bordered by four tapering minarets. Within the dome like structure lies the jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen named Mumtaz. The Taj that is the casket of the emperor was built beside the queen's one as an afterthought. The emperor was once overthrown by his son and imprisoned in the Great Red Fort for eight years before being finally buried in the Taj Mahal.
History of Taj Mahal Agra
The history of Taj Mahal has been an interesting topic of research and study for a long time. Many a travelers, after visiting this fabulous structure, look for the story behind its construction. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved queen, Mumtaz.
Emperor Shah Jahan was the ruler from 1628 to 1658, and within his lifetime, he built the tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan got married to beautiful Arjumand Bano Begum in 1612 A.D. He called his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal as he wanted to refer to her as the crown of the Palace as she was so precious to him. This royal couple had 14 children. The queen used to accompany Emperor Shah Jahan everywhere, even on military campaigns and in one such campaign in Burhanpur in central India, Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631 shortly after giving birth to her 14th child.
It was Mumtaz's dying wish to Shah Jahan that he should build a tomb in her memory. She mentioned it specifically that the tomb should be such that world had never seen something of that sort before. Shah Jahan fulfilled her last wish and created the most beautiful mausoleum in the world. Taj Mahal was completed with a consistent effort of 22 long years. A huge labor force of 20,000 workers worked regularly led by Muhammed Hanif, the head of the masons. The Persian architect Ustad Isa designed the great tomb, which ultimately cost the Mughal exchequer 32 million rupees.
In later years of his life, Shah Jahan was ousted by his son Aurangzeb. The lonely emperor spent the last years of his life under house arrest in the Agra Fort from where he made an arrangement to spend his time looking at the beautiful tomb he had built for his beloved empress and waited patiently for the day they could be united again. After Shah Jahan's death in 1666 A.D., he too was buried beside his beloved Mumtaz Mahal.
Architecture of Taj Mahal Agra
Architecture of Taj Mahal has been praised by the whole world for its innovative talents. It's been more than 350 years now, but still the glorious tomb has not lost its glory with time. Persian architect Ustad Isa designed the great tomb called Taj Mahal in Agra and received the world acclaim for his ingenuity. The Taj Mahal had cost the Mughal exchequer 32 million rupees and took 22 years to be constructed. It was Mumtaz's, the empresses' dying wish to Shah Jahan that he should build a tomb in her memory. She mentioned it specifically that the tomb should be such that world had never seen something of that sort before. Shah Jahan fulfilled her last wish and created the most beautiful mausoleum of the world.
Architecturally, Taj Mahal was the greatest of all the architectural works of the Mughals. It is far superior to any of the monuments in India in the pride of its grouping and character. The Taj Mahal Agra has a rare contrast of temperament and order between the central dome and the slender minarets. Taj Mahal shows the perfection done in the pure form of refinement. The painstaking craftsmanship with its intricate details speaks about the splendor and aura of love that is embedded in its every corner. The design of Taj is believed to be more Persian and less Indian. But in the heart of hearts it is completely original and inimitable.