The Taj Mahal
The most excellent architectural beauty is the Taj Mahal, one of the eight wonders of the world. Historians from the west have remarked that no other construction in the world can surpass this grand white marble construction. Built entirely of white marble this beautiful monument built by Emperor Shah Jahan is the symbol for his love upon his beloved wife, Queen Mumtaz Mahal. This stunning architectural beauty is a Mausoleum that houses the grave of Queen Mumtaz Mahal. It is appreciated by many as an "elegy in marble" or some say an expression of a "dream". The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later.
It is noted that in the tradition of the Mughals, the important ladies of the royal family were given another name at their marriage or at some other significant event in their lives, and that new name was commonly used by the public and thus Arjumand Banu was named Mumtaz Mahal and Shahab-ud-din was known as Emperor Shah Jahan after he ascended to the throne in 1628. He was also called as Price Khurram before becoming the Emperor.
Map of Taj Mahal
It took almost twenty two years to complete the wonderful Taj Mahal and of about twenty thousand workers were employed for its construction. Costing around 32 million Rupees the grand architecture was completed in 1648. Expert craftsmen from Delhi, Qannauj, Lahore, and Multan were employed. In addition, many renowned Muslim craftsmen from Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara worked on many specialized tasks. It is recorded in the construction documents that its master architect was Ustad 'Isa, the renowned Islamic architect of his time. Standing on a raised square platform (186 x 186 feet) with its four corners truncated the building forms an unequal octagon. The building is designed using the interlocking arabesque concept, in which each element stands on its own and perfectly integrates with the main structure.
The splendid mausoleum is divided into a main gateway, an elaborate garden, a mosque (to the left), a guest house (to the right), and several other palatial buildings. With brilliant design the four pools before the main structure further divides into yet another four making it more stylish and adding immense beauty to the Taj located at the farthest end of the site. Of all the best things that India can offer to the eyes of the tourists, The Taj Mahal is the only predominant sight of attraction now and forever.