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Love is eternal and so is the beauty of Taj Mahal, a symbol of love. Located in Agra it is one of the eight wonders of the world. Some Western historians have noted that its architectural beauty has never been surpassed. The Taj is the most beautiful monument built by the Mughals, the Muslim rulers of India. Taj Mahal is built entirely of white marble. Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond adequate description, particularly at dawn and sunset.
The great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built it in the treasured memory of his adorable wife Mumtaz Mahal, a Muslim Persian Queen. Travelers from across the globe come to Agra to see Taj Mahal. It is the pride of India when it comes to architecture. The celebrated Rabindranath Tagore conferred a beautiful phrase on this architectural marvel, “a teardrop on the cheek of time”. When the moon light falls on Taj Mahal, it looks incredible.
Taj Mahal is the most beautiful tomb on earth. Mesmerized by its incomparable beauty the English poet Sir Edwin Arnold said “Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passion of an emperor's love wrought in living stones”. How apt!
Resting peacefully on the banks of river Yamuna, the foundation of Taj Mahal was laid by the fifth Mughal Emperor. He initiated the construction in 1631 and it was completed in 1653. Twenty thousand workers were employed for it. The material was imported from different places in India and central Asia. During that time elephants were the best means of transportation and hence around 1000 elephants were arranged for the transportation of the material for building the Mahal. Ustad Isa, an Iranian architect designed this wonder. Taj Mahal houses the grave of the queen Mumtaz Mahal in the lower chamber. Later when the Emperor Shah Jahan died he was also buried here. The queen breathed her last after becoming the proud mother of 14 children of Shah Jahan. It is said that the death of Mumtaz Mahal crippled the Emperor so much that his hair and beard grew white within a few months.
Taj Mahal is erected on a raised red sandstone platform which is covered with a smooth layer of white marble. The architecture of Taj Mahal is in accord with the interlocking arabesque concept in which all the elements of the structure are unique in their own style and yet maintain harmony in the overall structure. The central dome of it is 213 m high and is fringed by four other small domed chambers. The four minarets (a tall slender tower attached to a mosque) stand to the height of 162.5 feet.
Taj Mahal is gracefully decorated with inlaid design of flowers some of which are studded with precious gems like agate and jasper. Taj Mahal is a charming assortment of a huge complex at the entrance, a beautiful garden, a mosque, a guest house and some other establishments.
A glimpse of this architectural marvel in white nothing less than a visual treat for the eyes.