•In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during theMughal Empire's period of greatestprosperity, was griefstricken when his thirdwife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birthof their fourteenth child, Gauhara Begum.Construction of the Taj Mahal began in1632, one year after her death.The courtchronicles of Shah Jahan's grief illustratethe love story traditionally held as aninspiration for Taj Mahal. The principalmausoleum was completed in 1648 andthe surrounding buildings and garden werefinished five years later. •Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in thesewords:•Should guilty seek asylumhere,Like one pardoned, hebecomes free from sin.Should a sinner make his wayto this mansion,All his past sins are to bewashed away.The sight of this mansioncreates sorrowing sighs;And the sun and the moonshed tears from their eyes.In this world this edifice hasbeen made;To display thereby thecreator's glory. CONSTRUCTION
•The Taj Mahal was built on aparcel of land to the south of the walled city of Agra. ShahJahan presented MaharajahJai Singh with a large palace inthe center of Agra in exchangefor the land. An area of roughlythree acres was excavated,filled with dirt to reduceseepage, and leveled at 50meters above riverbank. In thetomb area, wells were dug andfilled with stone and rubble toform the footings of the tomb.Instead of lashed bamboo,workmen constructed acolossal brick scaffold thatmirrored the tomb. •The total cost has been estimated to be about 32million Rupees at that time.•In all, twenty eight types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble. •Marble – Rajasthan
TAJ ONE OF THE 7 WONDERS
•Mark Twain once remarked “the world is dividedbetween two types of people: those who have seenthe Taj Mahal and those who have not.”•The Taj is one of the most recognizable landmarksin the world and the image most associated withIndia. It is indeed the Taj of all Indian monuments.One...