The majestic Taj Mahal is India"s most famous monument, set in an extensive, symmetrical garden on the Yamuna riverbank in the city that Agra. Each year, millions of human being come from across the human being to admire its beauty and listen come the story behind its construction. If you room considering a holidays in India, over there is no factor not to discover this beautiful site. So prior to you go, it would be better to find out something about the fascinating history of this exceptional monument.

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1. Why was the Taj Mahal built?

Built in between 1632 and 1653, the world-famous Taj Mahal was i was delegated by the shaman Jahan, the fifth emperor the the Mughal empire that ruled most of northern India between the 16th and 18th century, to commemorate his beloved mam Mumtaz Mahal who died of childbirth complications.

A beautiful shooting of the Taj Mahal taken indigenous the Yamuna river (Photo credit: Gene Tobia)

The love story

Shah Jahan met Mumtaz Mahal at among the booths the the imperial bazaar in 1607, long before he ended up being the emperor that the Mughal Empire. He to be then 15 year old, called Prince Khurram, and Mumtaz Mahal, 14, dubbed Arjumand Banu Baygam, who father would later come to be the prime minister. It to be love at very first sight. However, he didn"t marry her until 1612, five years after their betrothal, after marrying Kandahari Begum, his an initial wife. (He would later take a third wife in 1617).

On march 27, 1612, Prince Khurram and also Arjumand Banu Baygam gained married. The prince offered his wife the surname Mumtaz Mahal, meaning "chosen one of the palace". Despite having 3 wives, the prince"s whole delight was focused on Mumtaz Mahal, follow to Inayat Khan, shaman Jahan"s historian. The couple had a love marriage, through intimacy, and deep affection for each other. Transparent Khurram"s earlier military campaigns, she constantly accompanied him in spite of her pregnancies. Also after shaman Jahan"s accession to the throne she served as a confidant and trusted torture who often gave him advice both ~ above private and also public matters. The general public was significantly enamored v Mumtaz Mahal due to the fact that of she beauty, grace as well as compassion. She aided the human being in need, making certain the widows and orphans gained food and money.

Red sandstone through marble decorations (Photo credit: Gene Tobia)

The fatality of Mumtaz Mahal

In their 19 year of marriage, they had actually 14 kids altogether, but only 7 of lock lived past infancy. The bear of the 14th kid led to the death of Mumtaz Mahal. Top top June 17, 1631, she died in shah Jahan"s arm in a armed forces tent after providing birth come a healthy baby girl. Her body to be temporarily hidden near the encampment in ~ Burhanpur. That is claimed that the emperor to be so sad the he began a seclusion for a year, mourning because that his beloved wife. When civilization saw him again, his hair had turned gray and his back was bent.

In December 1631, Mumtaz Mahal"s remains were lugged to Agra (435 mile (700 km) indigenous Burhanpur). Her body was escorted with hundreds of soldiers, and crowds of mourners lined the road. Shaman Jahan had actually her stays temporarily hidden on a land close to where Taj Mahal would certainly be built. Still full of grief, he chose to develop an exquisite mausoleum the none might rival.

2. The building of Taj Mahal

The location

No one knows precisely why the last resting location of Mumtaz Mahal was preferred to it is in on the bank of the Yamuna river in Agra. Below are few of the feasible reasons:

1) In the 17th century, this area was additionally where all gardens and also palaces of the noble Mughals to be located. The was therefore justifiable the the empress have to rest in tranquility here.

2) The Yamuna River is just one of the tributaries the the Ganges, a purifying river sacred to the Hindu population. Shaman Jahan hoped the soul of she deceased wife would certainly be purified by placing her here.

3) shah Jahan wanted to build a substantial mausoleum for she wife. Thus the framework would be exceptionally heavy and far better be supported by large wooden slabs built over deep wells, maintaining the mausoleum stable. For this reason the banks of Yamuna River would be many suitable. The water indigenous the river can moisturize the mausoleum"s wooden foundation (mainly timber), i beg your pardon is key to the stabilization the the structure.

A pair enjoying the Taj Mahal across the Yamuna river (Photo credit: Gene Tobia)

The structure style

As the finest example of Mughal architecture, the Taj Mahal is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, interpreting many of the Hindu legacies in an Islamic form.

The architects and craftsmen

It is no known precisely who to be responsible because that the style of the monument since at that time it was the patron that won the credit transaction for the architecture of a building. Yet the chief architect is claimed to be Ustad Ahmad Lahouri, that is additionally credited with the design of the renowned Red fort of Delhi.

The building and construction of the Taj Mahal wouldn"t have actually been feasible without the participation of architects, draughtsmen, stonemasons, sculptors, dome builders, calligraphers, carpenters, and also other workers whose number is thought to be about 20,000. Sadly, the hands of these architects and also workers to be all cut off by the minions of shah Jahan so that they can never create a building like it, according to a story.

A watch of Taj Mahal from the mosque (Photo credit: Gene Tobia)

The length of construction

The building and construction of Taj Mahal took over twenty years. That was developed in 1632, and in 1648, the mausoleum to be finished. An additional 5 year were spent on the structure of the enclosure, the ancillary buildings such together gardens, so the whole complex was perfect in 1653.

The cost of construction

There are different stories regarding how lot the construction of the Taj Mahal cost. Some say the monument is estimated to have cost 32 million rupees, i m sorry is about 53 billion rupees (US$827 million ) in contemporary values. Most of the money was spent on the stones and workers" wages. The funds to be from the imperial Treasury the the Emperor and also the Treasury of the federal government of the district of Agra.

The origins of building materials

The materials used to construct the Taj Mahal were from all over India and also Asia. Some 1,000 elephants were supplied to carry building materials.

Here is a list of the building materials and also their origins:

Brick: AgraSandstone: 28 mile (45km) far from AgraWhite marble: Makrana, 250 miles (km) away from AgraJaspers: PunjabJade and also crystal: ChinaTurquoise: TibetLapis lazuli: AfghanistanSapphire: Sri LankaCarnelian: Arabia

The last days of shaman Jahan

After the perfect of the Taj Mahal, shaman Jahan to be still stricken through inconsolable grief. Aurangzeb, the 3rd of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan"s 4 sons, took advantage of the instance to death off his three brothers and also successfully usurped his father. Shah Jahan was thus imprisoned in the Red fort in Agra. He invested the staying days looking out of a window, city hall his lover wife"s mausoleum. When he passed away in January 1666, that was hidden in the mausoleum beside Mumtaz Mahal.

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The Taj Mahal viewed from the Red fort in Agra (Photo credit: Gene Tobia)

Damage and restoration

In its golden days, the affluent Mughal realm had sufficient money for the maintenance of the Taj Mahal. Yet when the empire fell (which started in 1707), the monument suffered as well. In 1857, the Mughals to be ousted by the British who took over India. The beautiful gemstones indigenous the wall surfaces were cut, and silver candlesticks and doors stolen. Fortunately, lord George Curzon, the governor general of the Indies indigenous 1899 to 1905, bespeak a protect against to the loot and initiated a repair of the monument.