The Taj Mahal is located on the right bank of the river Yamuna in a vast Mughal garden of 17 hectares in the Agra district of Uttar Pradesh. The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and was completed between 1632 AD and 1648 AD. The church, guest house, main south gateway, courtyard, and monastery were added.
Later in 1653 AD, The existence of numerous historical inscriptions in the Arabic script has helped to date the Taj Mahal. For its construction, masons, stone cutters, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome makers, and artisans came from all over the empire from Central Asia and Iran. The main architect of the Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmad Lahori from Afghanistan.
The Taj Mahal is a huge tomb that was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632 to preserve the remains of his beloved wife. Built over 20 years on the south bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India, the complex is a fine example of Mughal architecture. It combined Indian, Persian, and Islamic influences.
At its center is the Taj Mahal itself, made of shiny white marble, which seems to change color depending on daylight. Dedicated to the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, it remains one of the most famous structures in the world and a stunning symbol of India's rich history.
Shah Jahan was a member of the Mughal dynasty that ruled most of northern India from the 16th century to the middle of the 18th century. After the death of his father, King Jahangir, in 1627, Shah Jahan won a fierce power struggle with the brothers. In 1628, he crowned himself emperor of Agra.
On his side was Arjumand Banu Begum, known as Mumtaz Mahal (one of the palaces chosen). In 1612 he married and was considered the favorite of the three queens. In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died after giving birth to the couple's fourteenth child. Saddened, Shah Jahan, who was famous for commissioning many attractive structures throughout his reign, ordered the construction of a beautiful tomb across the Yamuna River from his own royal palace in Agra.
Construction began in 1632 and lasted for the next two decades. The chief architect was Ustad Ahmad Lahuri of Persian descent. He was later credited with designing the Red Fort in Delhi. Thousands of workers and thousands of elephants from India, Persia, Europe, and the Ottoman Empire were brought in to build the tomb.
The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement of the entire range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Its recognizable architectural beauty is a rhythmic combination of concave, convex, and light shadow; Things like arches and domes add to the aesthetic side. The green landscape shows the monument in changing colors and moods with the color combination of the red path and the blue sky above it.
The works in marble and carvings are made of precious and semi-precious stones. The Taj Mahal is one of the notable innovations made by Shah Jahan's horticulture planners and architects.
The placement of the tomb at one end of the quadripartite garden instead of an exact center is one such phenomenon, which added rich depth and perspective to the distant view of the monument. This is the best example of a raised tomb. The tomb is raised on a square platform, with the four sides of the octagonal shape of the minarets extending into the corners beyond the square.
The top of the platform is reached by a lateral flight of steps provided in the center of the south side. The central octagonal tomb consists of portal halls and four corner rooms. The plan repeats on the upper floor. The exterior of the tomb is square and angular.
The large double-story dome with the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan is the finest octagon in the project. The stunning octagonal marble lattice screen that surrounds the two tombs is in excellent working order. It is very polished and decorated with carvings. The borders of the frames are covered with precious stones.
The colors and shades of the stones used to make the leaves and flowers look almost real.
The tomb of Mumtaz Mahal is in the perfect center of the tomb, adorned with floral motifs carved on a rectangular platform. Shah Jahan's tomb is larger than Mumtaz Mahal and was erected thirty years later on its western side. The tombs above are only Maya, while the original tombs are in the lower tomb chamber (crypt), which was adopted in the imperial Mughal tombs.
The four independent towers at the corners of the platform add a hitherto unknown dimension to Mughal architecture. The four minarets not only give a kind of spatial reference to the monument but also give a three-dimensional effect to the building.
The most impressive feature of the Taj Mahal complex near the tomb is the majestic main entrance, which stands majestically in the center of the south wall of the fort. The north side of the gate is surrounded by double arcade galleries. The garden in front of the galleries is divided into four parts by two main walkways, each quarter divided by narrow cross-axial walkways, in the Timurid-Persian plan of the garden walls.
There is a pavilion in the middle of the east and west perimeter walls. The Taj Mahal is a planned building. The building materials are brick-in-lime mortar with red sandstone and marble and precious stone carvings. The mosque and guest house in the Taj Mahal complex is made of red sandstone. Both buildings have a large platform above the front terrace.
The church and guest house are similar structures. There is a spacious prayer hall with three vaults arranged in succession along with the dominant central portal. The frame of the portal arches and spandrels are displayed in white marble.
In fact, Aurangzeb (Shah Jahan's third son with Mumtaz Mahal) overthrew his ailing father in 1658 and took over the reins. Shah Jahan spent the last years of his life under house arrest in a tower at the Red Fort in Agra, the magnificent rest house he built for his wife. When he died in 1666, she was buried next to her.
Despite the collapse of the Mughal rule, the Taj Mahal was neglected and damaged two centuries after Shah Jahan's death. In the early nineteenth century, Lord Curzon, the then British Viceroy, ordered the restoration of the tomb as part of a colonial effort to preserve India's artistic and cultural heritage. Today, the Taj Mahal is visited by approximately 3 million people each year (or 45,000 a day during the peak tourist season).
Air pollution from nearby factories and vehicles constantly poses a threat to the shiny white marble face of the tomb, and in 1998, the Supreme Court of India ordered a number of anti-pollution measures to protect the building from collapse. Some factories were closed. Meanwhile, vehicular traffic was banned from near the complex. Admission for Indians is Rs 50, while for foreigners, it is around Rs 1,000.
The Taj Mahal is open every day except sunrise from sunrise to sunset. But the best time to go is at sunrise.