The Taj Mahal meaning Crown of the Palace) is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamunariver in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan (reigned 1628–1658), to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 17-hectare (42-acre) complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.
Construction of the mausoleum was essentially completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in 2015 would be approximately 52.8 billion rupees (US$827 million). The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.
The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. Described by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as “the tear-drop on the cheek of time”, it is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year. In 2007, it was declared a winner of the New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.
- Extra: There may be more details in Wikipedia
- Address: Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
- Height: 73 m
- Opened: 1648
- Architectural style: Mughal architecture
- Architects: Ustad Ahmad Lahouri, Ustad Isa
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- Ben Hardy: An amazing place in wonderful grounds. You could find a quiet place to sit and simply look at it for hours. I used a guide who was a little rushed. I recommend taking a guide book and taking your own time. Queues can build up and it can get hot in the sun. Go early and take water. There’s only the two tombs (replicas) inside so it’s more about being there and appreciating the beauty and significance of the whole place.
- Deval Gupta: Truly was a must visit. No doubt it’s been chosen as the wonder of the world. Great job by the UNESCO in restoring this awesome masterpiece. Truly deserved the title. Closed on FRIDAYS. Take a guide and don’t forget to bargain the price, otherwise they’ll rob you. Take an umbrella with you too. Don’t worry about your vehicle, there’s ample parking space. And listen to the guide attentively, as the history is exciting.