The Taj Mahal is a beautiful mausoleum in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1632, in honor of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Made from the finest white marble, it features exquisite craftsmanship and is regarded as the finest example of Mughal architecture.
The Taj Mahal, which means Crown Palace, was constructed over a period of twenty-two years, employing twenty thousand workers.
While the tomb, featuring an impressive marble dome, is the focal point of the entire complex, the site is consisted of several elements that compliment each other but can stand alone by themselves: the Moonlight Garden, the main tomb, Charbagh (gardens), gateway (houses other tombs) and Taj Ganji (bazaar).
The central dome is fifty-eight feet in diameter and rises to a height of 213 feet. It is flanked by four subsidiary domed chambers. Guarding its four corners are minarets that are 162.5 feet each. The entire mausoleum (inside as well as outside) is decorated with inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy using precious gems such as agate and jasper. The main archways, chiseled with passages from the Holy Qur’an and the bold scroll work of flowery pattern, give a captivating charm to its beauty. The central domed chamber and four adjoining chambers include many walls and panels of Islamic decoration.
Because of its sheer magnificence, the Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the eight wonders of the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.