Friday, February 3, 2012


India's Taj Mahal is a beautiful example of a great building feat. With the exception of its gardens, the Taj Mahal of modern times is exactly as it was designed in 1631. It was built by Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor of the Mughal Empire. The Mughal Empire lasted from about 1526 until 1858 and included most of present-day India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Taj Mahal is a complex of buildings a mosque, a guest house, an enormous entrance gate, four minaret towers, and the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan's favorite wife. It is laid out in a rectanngular grid on 42 acres along the Yamuna River, with water fountains, gardens, and reflecting pools.

The Taj Mahal was built in the city of Agra, India, at the height of the Mughal Empire. Shah Jahan, whose name means "king of the World," was one of the richest men on earth. "There were literally trunks of jewels in the imperial treasury," according to historian Milo Beach. "trunks of emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and diamonds," Shah Jahan had palaces scattered link gemstones across his far-flung empire. About twenty thousand people worked on the Taj Mahal. Many skilled craftsmen, such as stonecutters,bricklayers, and calligraphers, moved to Agra to work on the project. Elephants and oxen hauled tons of marble more than 200 miles to the site. Brickmakes produced thousands of bricks. Wagonloads of colorful gemstones arrived from all parts of Asia and Europe.

The story of the Taj Mahal is one of great passion and sorrow. Shah Jahan built it as a tomb for his beloved Mumtaz Mahal. whose beauty inspired many royal poets. He chose to express his grief through architecture. The Taj Mahal is a testament to his undying love.