Taj Mahal Agra, India
A poet once described the Taj Mahal as "A teardrop of love, frozen in marble on the cheek of Eternity." The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, in memory of his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal (Ornament of the Palace), after her death in 1631 when she was only 39 years old. The Taj Mahal is recognized the world over for its aesthetic perfection and is considered a monument to eternal love.
Situated near the banks of the River Yamuna, in Agra, this white marble mausoleum is set like a jewel amidst the serene ambience of a formal garden. The Taj Mahal is a complex of buildings, with green lawns and waterways leading to a raised platform on which the tomb rests. The refined elegance of the artistic pietra dura work of inlaid designs on the marble walls of the Taj Mahal, the large onion-shaped dome and its surrounding symmetrical minarets represents the pinnacle of Islamic architecture in India.
Couples from all over the world come to have their pictures taken before this romantic building. Viewing the Taj Mahal on a moonlit night is believed to be one of the most beautiful sights in the world. Share the experience of falling in love…with the Taj Mahal.
The tomb took over twenty years to construct and required a workforce of over twenty thousand men. The architectural design is symbolic of the Muslim idea of paradise. The Taj Mahal combines both Persian and India design elements and the fineness of the carved marble lattices is evidence of the skill of the craftsmen who built this beautiful monument. The bodies of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal rest in the underground tomb in the basement of the Taj Mahal, which is open to visitors. The structures seen on the ground floor are stylized tombs representing the actual tombs below.
The Taj Mahal's white marble surfaces reflect the colours of the sky and the river Yamuna, thus appearing different during different times of the day and with the changing seasons of the year. Its ethereal beauty and symmetry of proportion make the Taj Mahal one of the grand monuments of the world and a sight not to be missed when a visitor travels to India.
International visitors who have expressed their sense of enchantment at the sight of the Taj Mahal include the previous U.S. President Bill Clinton and the late Princess Diana.