Taj Mahal is a splendid jewel of the Mughal architecture, it was commissioned to be built by the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1632 and 1643.
This masterpiece was built in fond memory of a beautiful Mughal empress, "Arjumand Banu Begum" who was given the title of Mumtaz Mahal (crown of palaces), she was married to Shah Jahan when she was 18 years old. From then on she had become an inseparable companion of the Emperor. In 1631, she was on a war campaign in southern India (Burhanpur) with her husband when she died during the birth of her fourteenth girl child. The death of Mumtaz Mahal was an unbearable loss to Emperor Shah Jahan and he decided to commemorate the memory of his wife with the building that would reflect her paradisiacal abode in heaven. Apart from being unparallel architecture, this monument epitomizes the undying love of Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal. The perfect symmetrical design enhances its grandeur, reflecting its rich heritage and architectural excellence.
The beauty of the Taj Mahal is admired worldwide by people who belong to different walks of life. It has become a subject of interest for several writers and poets and there are innumerable lyrical descriptions of Taj Mahal. This monument has been ranked No.1 amongst the 'Seven Wonders of the World' and has been declared as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
More than 8 million tourist visit Taj Mahal every year.
Taj Mahal is the perfect architecture in the world that completely fits on the "The Fifteen Properties" of Christopher Alexander.
The foundation of the complex and its structures are so strong that it is standing majestically on the sandy soil of a river bank from the past 350 years. The process of laying a solid foundation on the soil, which was not only sandy but prone to the seepage from the bottom, was carried out with technical prudence and acuity.
More than 20,000 workers were involved in the construction of the Taj Mahal – a mammoth team of sculptors, carvers, calligraphers, inlayers, stonecutters and a team of specialists of turret. Expert craftsmen were brought in from various places like Baghdad, Shiraz and Bukhara. According to a Mughal court historian, the majority of the craftsmen however were from India.
The cost of construction of the Taj Mahal was INR 5,000,000 - a huge amount in medieval India at the time. Initial projected estimate, however, was much less.