TAJ MAHAL, Agra, India

The most famous building in India is the snow-white Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum located in Agra.

The Taj Mahal was built by Moghul ruler Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1631 after the birth of her 14th child. The construction began in 1632, and finished in 1648. The materials for construction were brought in from all over India and central Asia and white marble from Jodhpur. Precious stones for the inlay came from different parts of the world: Baghdad, even Egypt and Russia, China, Afghanistan, Ceylon, Indian Ocean, Persia. The unique Mughal style combines elements and styles of Persian, Central Asian and Islāmic architecture.

Photo: Saleem Taqvi /sxc

The pure white marble of Taj gives it a special effect in different times –  it shimmers silver in the moonlight, glows softly pink at dawn, and at close of day reflects the fiery tints of the setting Sun. From the tower in the Agra Fort across the River Yamuna, Shah Jahan spent his last days as a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb, gazing at the tomb of his beloved Mumtaz.

The Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage. In 1983 it became a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Facts Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC, Wikipedia

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