Taj Mahal in India (Agra, India) - Indian mausoleum, tomb
Location show on map
Date of build
Years 1630 - 1653
This one of the most beautiful and romantic tombs in the world was built by Shah Jehan of the Mogul dynasty to commemorate his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. When the tomb was ready, the coffin was covered with a layer of pure gold, and Shah Jehan was supposed to additionally sprinkle it with pearls and diamonds. In front of the building there were 2000 soldiers who had to guard these fabulous treasures day and night.
It was built between 1632 and 1653, and it took 22 years to complete this amazing piece of architecture.
There were 20,000 workers on the construction site, who not only came from all Asian countries, but also from France and Italy.
The Taj Mahal was made of marble brought from a quarry more than 320 km away, but it is not a white building, the marble surfaces are decorated with thousands of precious and semi-precious stones, and black marble was used for calligraphy decorations.
The marbles contain 28 kinds of precious and semi-precious gems. The main building material, i.e. heavy white marble, was transported from Rajasthan. Turquoise comes from Tibet, while jadeit comes from China.
Many of these precious stones were ripped from the walls by the British during the Indian rebellion in 1857.
The road to the Taj Mahal leads through a gate, then through a wonderful garden surrounded by a wall.
The Taj Mahal complex includes a large garden, a swimming pool with a reflection, a mosque and other mausoleums.
The building has an onion-shaped shape, with turrets on the wings, the central dome itself is 24.5 m high and 17.7 m in diameter.
All four sides of the Taj Mahal are perfectly identical, creating an astonishingly similar image from each side.
The tomb is a sacrifice and homage to Mumtaz Mahal, it has calligraphy in all its interior and exterior, calligraphy whose patterns and sacred inscriptions identify and praise Mumtaz Mahal.
In the main chamber of the building there are false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Yahan, their actual graves are on a lower level.
The estimated cost of construction is an enormous amount of 32 million Indian rupees of that time, which, given the value of money today, would be well above 1 billion dollars.
The building underwent extensive renovation at the end of the 19th century, completed in 1908. Renovation was commissioned by Lord Curzon, once Viceroy of the British Indies.
The Taj Mahal was elected one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, winning over 100 million votes.
In 1983 the Taj Mahal was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The building attracts about 3 million tourists a year.
Official website: http://www.tajmahal.gov.in
"Dream of marble, Apotheosis of femininity, Wonderful charm."
"The general impression passes all expectations.The simplicity of the design and the richness of work combine into a wonderful work of art, which may be comparable with the temples of the Greeks, the most famous medieval cathedrals, Renaissance beauty." - Karl Baedeker