The Taj Mahal: In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire’s period of greatest prosperity, was griefstricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their fourteenth child, Gauhara Begum. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632, one year after her death. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan’s grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. The tombs of the Shah and his wife are inside the central part of the mausoleum.
The white marble shimmers in the sun. The detail is incredible: all around the central archway is calligraphy that is scaled up toward the top so that it is still readable and seems the same size as that at the base despite the height. The four corner minarets slope outwards slightly so that, in case of collapse, they would not damage the central structure. Inside the mausoleum the intricate decoration uses dozens of different types of semi-precious stones: cornelian; jasper; agate; lapis lazuli etc
Today it stands in total contrast to the dirt and dust of frenetic Agra, a perfect and beautiful symbol of true love.
The Taj Mahal is a World Heritage Site