The Taj Mahal

The Tomb of Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan fifth Mughal ruler, in the memory of his beloved Queen Arjumand Bano Begum entitled Mumtaz-uz-Zamani or Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz Mahal died at Burhanpur (Madhya Pradesh) on 17th June AD 1631, while delivering 14th child. Her mortal remains temporarily buried in the Jainabad garden, until these were shifted from Burhanpur to Agra. The majestic well proportionate mausoleum and other structural elements of Taj Mahal complex were built in a long time span of 17 years from 1631A.D. to 1648 A.D. as per the literary, epigraphic and archaeological evidences. Later mortal remains of Shah Jahan also buried by the side of her deceased wife in 1666 A.D.

As per contemporary chronicles constructions took place under the supervision of Makarmat Khan and Mir Abdul Karim and the dome was built by Ismail Khan of Turkey. Abdul-haq of Shiraz entitled Amant Khan was the main calligrapher. Ustad Ahmad is also reported to have been connected with the construction of Taj Mahal.
The monument was declared protected in 1920 under the provisions of Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904 and subsequently governed by the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 & Rules 1959. The Taj Mahal is declared as a World Heritage Property by UNESCO in 1983.

The main tomb of the Taj is basically square with chamfered corners. The minarets here are detached, facing the chamfered angles (corners) of the main tomb on the main plinth. Red sandstone mosque on the western, and Mehman-Khana on the eastern side of the tomb provides aesthetically a clear colour contrast.