The Taj Mahal is one of the most wonderful buildings ever built in the history of mankind. No wonder it is one of the seven wonders of the world. History says that Shah Jahan, the Mughal king in the early 17th century lost his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. He constructed Taj Mahal in her memory and as a resting place for her tomb. The tombs of the Emperor and his wife are placed side-by-side inside this beautiful piece of architecture.
During the creation of this great monument wealth was poured in. Situated at the banks of Agra’s Yamuna River, Taj Mahal is an achievement of almost 20,000 stone carvers, masons, and artists. These workers were employed from all over India, and some came from as far as Turkey and Iraq. It took them almost 20 years to complete this monument and the lush gardens. Sadly all these artists were rewarded for their good work by the chopping of their hands so that they would never be able to recreate this beautiful monument.
The Taj Mahal is made from white marble stone with precious gems and stones embedded in its walls. It appears pink in the morning, white during daytime and golden during evening. The four pillars ( called minarets) around the main dome are slightly tilted so that they fall away from the central tomb in case they collapse. The precious stones were plundered and looted by the foreign invaders. The Taj Mahal is a perfectly symmetrical building except at one place, and that is the tomb of Emperor and his Queen. This is because Taj Mahal was to have the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal and not the Emperor’s when it was planned.
Two red sandstone buildings stand beside the main mausoleum on either side. One, to the west, is a mosque. The other is a former guesthouse.
The lush gardens surrounding the Taj Mahal have an enormous reflecting pool which reflects and doubles the beauty of Taj Mahal.