One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World and an enduring Indian icon, the elegant structure known as the Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who sadly died in 1631, giving birth to their 14th child. In her dying breath, Mumtaz Mahal urged Shah Jahan to build a mausoleum for her, more beautiful than any the world had ever seen. In 1632 building began on the world’s greatest monument to love, which, even today, undoubtedly has no peer. In order to ensure the perfection of the Taj Mahal could not be replicated anywhere else on earth, the artisans and workers who created it, are said to have later had their hands or thumbs amputated.
It took some 20,000 labourers and craftsmen 22 years to build the Taj and every detail is absorbing: the classical gardens, the reflecting pool and the elaborate patterns of semiprecious stones decorating the white marble. The design is based upon the traditions of Mughal and Persian architecture and the most spectacular feature is the white marble onion shaped dome above the tomb, which has the entire Koran is inscribed on it. Inside the Great Moghul and his wife are buried side by side and the interior walls and floors are decorated with flowered mosaics, black marble and semi precious stones.
Visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra is a simply magical experience, not to be missed! Here is a selection of our tours that visit Agra and this breathtaking site.