The Taj Mahal is India's most famous icon – an amazing 17th Century marble mausoleum based in Agra. The Emperor Shah Jahan built it as a monument to the memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died whilst giving birth. The emperor himself was subsequently overthrown and imprisoned by his son and watched the completion of his monument whilst incarcerated in Agra Fort. Upon his death, Shah Jehan was also entombed in the Taj Mahal next to his wife.
Many people believe it to be the most perfectly proportioned building ever constructed; at first glance it appears to be simply white marble, but closer inspection reveals that the surface is inlaid with a profusion of semi-precious stones which form stylised flowers.
Taj Mahal Facts
Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal
He met Mumtaz Mahal when she was 14 – she died giving birth to their 14th child
20,000 workers took 22 years to construct it using 28 different varieties of precious stones
The marble came from Rajasthan and was transported by over 1000 elephants
The Taj Mahal cost approximately 32 million rupees (approx US $700,000)
The exterior pillars were placed at an outward tilt to protect against earthquakes
Only pollution-free rickshaws and battery-operated buses are permitted in the Taj Mahal area
All our adventure holidays to northern India include a visit to this majestic site.
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