Taj Mahal has come to symbolize the grandeur of the orient. It is impossible to escape the ravages of time but Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan managed to do what others did not dare to dream.
After 350 years it was completely built, Taj still stands as the symbol of eternal love in all its splendor. It was here, that Queen Mumtaz Mahal was buried. Taj Mahal is simply a poetry in white marble. Words often fall short to describe the enchanting beauty of this grand mausoleum. Thousands of artisans toiled for 22 years to make this ethereal mausoleum.
Built on the bank of the river Yamuna at Agra, Taj Mahal is perhaps the most recognizable landmark in the world. This bewitching beauty in white marble has four minarets, that taper to the top, on four of its corners. The tomb of Taj Mahal is built over a marble plinth.
The base is made of sandstone. Central chamber of Taj Mahal is octagonal in shape. The hallmark of this wonderful monument is the onion shaped bulbous double dome and the stately majestic look that it imparts. Within the dome lies the bejeweled cenotaph of the Queen. The place also has the cenotaph of the Emperor who was also buried here after his death.
The marble surface is decorated with Pietra Dura and the cenotaphs are decorated by motifs of flowers and superb calligraphy. The building material for Taj Mahal was brought form many places. Crystal was brought from Central Asia, turquoise from Tibet, yellow amber from Burma and lapis lazuli from Badakasthan.
The Taj was embellished with Sapphire and bloodstone. Not for nothing Taj Mahal is considered one of the seven wonders of ancient world. Immortalized as a monument of love, the Taj is also among the most photographed monuments in the world. No wonder it has found its place of pride in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.