Taj Mahal – The great ivory-white marble mausoleum in Agra

It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb is the centerpiece of a complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall.

The most spectacular feature is the marble dome that surmounts the tomb. The dome is nearly 35 meters high. The shape of the dome is emphasized by four smaller domes placed at its corners, which replicate the onion shape of the main dome / Image source

The tomb is a large, white marble structure standing on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an arch-shaped doorway topped by a large dome and finial. The base structure is a large multi-chambered cube with chamfered corners forming an unequal eight-sided structure that is approximately 55 meters on each of the four long sides. Four minarets frame the tomb, one at each corner of the plinth facing the chamfered corners.

The main chamber houses the false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan. Τhe actual graves are at a lower level / Image source

Construction of the mausoleum was completed in its entirety in 1653 . The project was led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. The Taj Mahal It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history.

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