Taj Mahal History
The Taj Mahal an immense mausoleum of white marble and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage described by Rudyard Kipling "the embodiment of all things pure, all things holy, and all things unhappy." It has also been called "the most extravagant monument to love." Located in Agra, India, the Taj Mahal, which translates to mean "Crown of the Region” is the world's most famous Mughal monument and . Now considered a national symbol of India,The monument, begun in 1632, was finished in 1648; unverified but nonetheless, tenacious, legends attribute its construction to an team of several thousands of masons, marble workers, mosaicists and decorators working under the orders of the architect of the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahori. Taj Mahal stands as an exquisite memorial to love, to faith, to vision. For many, the Taj Mahal transcends the boundaries of time, place, space and speaks a universal language.The Taj Mahal complex have gardens, canals, mosques,and minarets that has become an "international symbol of love, purity of design, and architectural perfection." Mughal ruler, Shah Jahan,erected the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and, many believe, to honor his belief in Islam. There are many stories concerning the how’s and why’s of the Taj Mahal's creation. While some of the tales are no doubt accurate, many are probably based more on legend than fact. Mumtaz Mahal was the second wife, constant companion, and advisor of Shah Jahan. Following their marriage in 1612, she bore him thirteen children. Mumtaz was a strong, charitable woman known for her kindness and incredible beauty. Mumtaz developed a reputation for her "civilizing" influence on the Mughal court. She became famous for her work with the poor and needy she took a special interest in widows and orphans.When Mumtaz died in 1629 while giving birth to their fourteenth child,Shah Jahan was so overcome with grief that he locked himself in his room for eight days stating, "the empire has no sweetness, life itself has no relish for me now." According to legend, when he reemerged his black hair had turned white. He decided to express his grief through his passion for architecture and vowed to build the most beautiful tomb The Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal was completed after 22 years of construction. artisans from as far away as France, Italy, and Turkey were involved in completing the ornate mausoleum. The Taj was constructed of brick encased in white marble brought from Makrana in Rajasthan. Hundreds of elephants were used to transport the marble.The emperor imported lapis lazuli from Ceylon, turquoise from Tibet, onyx from south India, coral from the sea. Merchants from throughout Asia brought sapphires, emeralds, rubies and diamonds to the artisans who skillfully embedded the precious stones in marble to Decortae the Taj Mahal. The grandeur of the Taj Mahal made it famous around the world before it was even finished. Perhaps appropriately, its name means “crown of the region” Romantics also suggest its name is a tribute to Mumtaz Mahal.When the tomb was finally completed, more than 2000 men were deployed to stand guard. Holy men were brought in to offer prayers.
When Shah Jahan fell ill in 1657, his four sons plotted for his throne. One son, Aurangzeb, killed his three brothers and then deposed his father. Shah Jahan was confined to a room in the Red Fort. From this vantage point across the Yamuna River, Shah Jahan had a clear view of the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan died in prison, It has been written that his last wish was to be carried to a window where "dimly looking across the water at the glowing whiteness and glittering of the melody in marble, he fell into a deep and endless sleep." Aurangzeb buried his father in the Taj Mahal alongside Mumtaz Mahal. Fatehpur Sikri, built by Akbar, the third of the Mughal rulers and Shah Jahan’s grandfather.Fatehpur Sikri was just one of many efforts attempted by Akbar to spiritually unite the people of India. Today, the Taj Mahal stands as an exquisite, sacred reminder of the incredible vision, architectural skills, and spiritual devotion of the Mughals.The Taj Mahal's pure white marble shimmers silver in the moonlight, glows softly pink at dawn, and at close of day reflects the fiery tints of the setting Sun.