Taj Mahal Introduction
curiously intricate structure of the Taj Mahal is one of the finest examples
of the Mughal art and architecture in India. Located at Agra in Uttar
Pradesh, the domed marble mausoleum is emblematic of true love. Apart from
making the wild passion of emperor Shah Jahan evident in its every corner,
the edifice also talks about the refined aesthetic sense of the king. The
whole love story would start becoming obvious as soon as you start loading
yourself with hordes of interesting Taj legends.
The history of the Taj is no less fascinating than the structure is itself.
The whole Mughal empire sank into a state of depression and remorse with the
death of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The queen was
accompanying the king on a military campaign at Burhan, while death lay its
icy hands on her, during the birth of their 14th child. She was the first
love of the emperor and had been faithful to Shah Jahan all her life. Just
before her death, the emperor promised her that he would build such an
imposing structure that would immortalize their pure love.
Shah Jahan kept his words and left no stones unturned to finish the
construction of the Taj Mahal. The construction began in 1632 with the
assimilation of thousands of artisans, craftsmen, calligraphers and
labourers. Architects were called in from as far as Persia. Around 20,000
workers travailed for almost 22 years and thus the construction came to an
end in 1648 AD.
The splendid building of the Taj typifies the Indo-Islamic architecture.
The astounding symmetrical features and the brilliant architectural
perfection have been drawing the attention of millions for ages, all across
the globe. It was Ustad Ahmad Lahouri who led the team of architects,
commissioned by Shah Jahan himself. Flanked by four minarets at its four
corners, the Taj Mahal occupies a position on a raised platform. The
beautiful mausoleum is set in a huge garden measuring 1,900 feet by 1,000
feet. The tomb, however, stands at the northern end of this garden on the
It is interesting to note that even after being built so substantially, the
overall structure seems to be quite light and delicate. The pietra dura work
of the Taj Mahal is a big lure for visitors and explorers from across the
world. The Quranic verses inscribed on the facade are truly worth noticing.
The excellent calligraphy is attributed to Amanat Khan. The tombs of Shah
Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal lie in the basement, with the replicas located right
above in the main hall. The whole Taj Complex measures 580 m by 300 m
whereas the garden itself is 300 m by 300 m.
city of Agra has a lot for you to see and experience after you are quite
fascinated by your trip to the Taj. The Agra Fort is the next big sight that
represents the opulence of the Mughal rulers. Other than this, there are
Itimad-ud-Daulah's Tomb, Akbar's Mausoleum, Chini Ka Rauza, Ram Bagh, Dayal
Bagh etc. You can also choose to make a trip to Fatehpur Sikri, 37 km from
Agra, to delve some more into the history of the Mughals.
By air (Kheria Airport), Agra has links with places like Delhi, Khajuraho
and Varanasi. The civil airport lies at 7 km from the central city. You can
fly from Delhi to Agra in just 40 minutes. The Agra Cantonment Railway
Station has regular connecting trains to Delhi. Agra is 204 km from Delhi so
you can also avail of luxury buses/ coaches and taxis to reach here by road.