The Beautiful Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a tomb of ivory-white marble on the southern bank of the Yemen River in the Indian city of Agra. It was started in 1632 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (who ruled from 1628 to 1658) to keep the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also has the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. The tomb is the center of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guesthouse, and is housed in a formal garden with a wall around it.

Construction of the tomb was essentially completed in 1643, but other phases of the project continued for another 10 years. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in 1653, estimated at around Rs 32 million, which would be around Rs 52.8 billion (the US $ 827 million) in 2015. About 20,000 craftsmen were employed in the construction project under the leadership of an architect’s board headed by the Darbar architect near Shah architect Ustad Ahmad Lahori.

The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for “the finest jewelry of Muslim art and world heritage globally in India”. Many see it as a great example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was named the winner of the New Wonders of the World (2000-2007).

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