Taj Mahal is one of the most flawless architectural creations of the world. Since the 17th century, travellers have crossed continents to come and see this ultimate memorial to love, and few have been unmoved by its incomparable beauty.
Where it is situated?
Taj Mahal stands in the city of Agra, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of the Yamuna River. It was built in the memory of the beautiful Arjumand Bano Begam, who won the heart of a Mughal Prince. She was married at 21 to Emporer Jahangir’s third son Prince Khurram and stayed loyally by his side through good and bad times, in the luxurious royal palace of agra as well as the transient tents of war camps. In 1628 AD, Khurram became king after a bloody battle of succession, he took the name Shahjahan or King of the world and showered his beloved Begam with the highest titles.
In 1631, Shahjahan went on an expedition to the south and as always, Mumtaz Mahal accompanied him. But she died in childbirth at Burhampur. She had Shahjahan borne fourteen children, of whom four sons and three daughters survived. When Mumtaz Mahal died, she was just 39 years old. Shahjahan was inconsolable and contemporary chronicles tell of the royal court mourning for two years. There was no music, no feasting and no celebration of any kind.
Shahjahan, wo was a passionate builder, now decided to erect a memorial to his queen in pristine marble that the would would never forget. The site selected for the tomb was a garden by the Yamuna river, unshadowed by any other structure. The garden had been laid by Raja Man Singh of Amber and now belonged to his grandson, Raja Jai Singh. By a royal firman, Shahjahan gave Jai Singh four havelis in exchange for the garden. The site was alsochosen because it was located on a bend in the river, and so could be seen from Shahjahan’s personal palace in Agra Fort. It took 22 years for the Taj Mahal to be completed. A huge labour force of 20000 workers led by Muhummed Hanif, the head of the masons and the Persian architect Ustad Isa or Ustad Ahmed Lahauri were employed in its construction. Taj Mahal finished in 1648. It is said, that after the completion of the construction, when emperor Shah Jahan viewed the Taj, he ordered his men to cut off the right hand of the master architect Ustad Isa, so the later may not be able to erect such a stately and imposing edifice again in his life.