Taj Mahal construction began in 1631. The Taj Mahal, an enormous mausoleum of white marble erected in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in remembrance of his favorite wife, is the gem of Muslim art in India and one of the world's most recognized masterpieces.
The Taj Mahal was built over a period of about four years under heavy pressure from other members of the imperial family who felt that it should have been them who was buried inside its walls instead of Queen Mumia. As soon as the project was completed, Emperor Shah Jahan had himself moved to be next to her. He died in 1666 at the age of 63.
It is believed that around 20,000 people worked on the project over an estimated period of twenty-one years. The site where it is located has been identified by archaeologists as a possible graveyard for workers engaged on the project.
The Taj Mahal has been described as the greatest love story of all time. It is said that during its construction, every day hundreds of artists, builders and others were employed on the project. They included Italian, French, Spanish and Indian craftsmen and artists.
The core of the structure is made of black stone extracted from a single mountain in India. It includes elements of many different styles of architecture including Islamic, Hindu and Gothic.
The Taj Mahal, located in Agra, is a white marble mausoleum erected by Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1648 in remembrance of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was built by 20,000 workers and portrays the Islamic garden of heaven. It is often recognized as the pinnacle of Mughal architecture. The building takes the form of a perfect square with four equal sides of 120 feet (37 m) and each side has an elaborate doorframe with delicate floral carvings. Inside, the monument reflects the simplicity and purity of the Mughal style: no decoration or adornment of any kind except for the calligraphy on the walls.
The construction of the Taj Mahal started in 1632 under the supervision of Abu Bakr Siddique who was later made its chief architect. It took nearly twenty years to complete because of other priorities taking precedence over it. In fact, it was not until after Shah Jahan's death that the project was finally finished. However, even then, it wasn't viewed as complete but rather as a starting point for further work. Today, only the main body of the building remains since the surrounding gardens have been developed into a public park known as the Taj Mahal Garden City.
The tomb itself is about the size of a small apartment and it takes ten days to walk around it. But, even from a distance, it is impossible to ignore. Its elegance and grace are unparalleled and it remains one of the most beautiful structures in the world today.
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India, was created as a memorial to Shah Jahan's favorite wife, who died in delivery in 1631. The white marble monument, with its expansive gardens, took several years to complete. It is believed that 20,000 workers contributed to the project's success.
Shah Jahan was not only married to her but also to another woman and had children by both, so his wives' bodies were buried alongside his first wife's body. But he wanted something special for himself so he ordered the construction of this temple like tomb where he could visit his beloved wife's body every day.
Inside the main chamber, which is covered with thousands of polished black stones, there are two mirrored boxes used for storage. On each side of the room are four smaller chambers used for burial. Above the entrance are eight statues of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and renewal. The overall design of the building is based on the universe with seven levels representing the planets within our solar system.
It's said that if you walk around the outside of the tomb at night when it's quiet, you can hear the women whispering in the tombs next to Shah Jahan's wife's body, telling him what to do next time they see him in heaven.