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Location: Agra, Uttarakhand   Map

Tel. (0562) 233 0496

Open: 6am- 7pm Sun- Thu

Museum: 10am- 5pm Tue- Thu

Closed: public holidays

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal







Description of Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is a medieval burial mausoleum designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in a city of Agra in Uttarakhand state of India. Taj Mahal was constructed in 1632- 53 by a Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. A legends states that an old emperor emperor fell in love with his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Unfortunately their love did not lost very long. She died and an unfortunate husband's hair turned white over night. He constructed a beautiful shrine to honor his beloved one and after his death he was laid to rest besides his wife.







Over 22,000 masters from all over the empire, as well as masters of Central Asia, Persia and the Middle East, were invited to the construction of the complex.

The Taj Mahal was built on a plot of land south of the Agra fortified wall. Shah Jahan exchanged this site, owned by Maharaja Jai ​​Singh (Eng. Jai Singh I), for a large palace in the center of Agra. An area of ​​approximately three acres (1.2 hectares) was dug up, soil was replaced to reduce infiltration, and the site level was raised 50 meters above the riverbank. Wells were dug at the site of the mausoleum, which, filled with rubble stone, formed the foundations of the structure. Instead of forests of tied bamboo, large-scale brick forests were erected that surrounded the tomb. They were so impressive in size that the foremen in charge of construction feared that dismantling them might take years. According to legend, Shah Jahan announced that anyone can take and leave as many bricks as he wants, and the forests were pulled down by peasants almost overnight.

To transport marble and other materials to the construction site, a fifteen-kilometer ramp was built from rammed earth, and thirty bulls were dragged block by block to the construction site on special designed carts. A carefully designed volumetric frame design with blocks was used to raise the blocks to the desired level. Water for construction purposes was extracted from the river using a rope-bucket system using animal power and poured into a large tank, from where it rose into a distribution tank. From there, it was distributed among three auxiliary tanks and transported through pipes to the construction complex.

The construction of the tomb and platform took about twelve years. The remaining parts of the complex were built for another ten years, and ended in succession: minarets, a mosque, jawab, the Great Gate. Since the construction was carried out in stages, there are different points of view on what can be considered the completion of the Taj Mahal. For example, the mausoleum itself was completed by 1643, but after this work continued on the remainder of the complex.

Estimates of the cost of construction vary widely due to the difficulty of accounting for prices of centuries ago. The approximate total cost of construction at that time was about thirty-two million rupees.

Materials for the construction of the Taj Mahal were delivered from all over India and from many places in Asia; more than a thousand elephants were used to transport them. Translucent white marble was delivered from Makran, Rajasthan, jasper was brought from Punjab, jades and crystals from China. Turquoise was transported from Tibet, and lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, while sapphires were brought from Sri Lanka, and carneol from Arabia. Altogether, twenty-eight types of precious and semiprecious stones were inlaid in white marble.

Twenty thousand workers gathered throughout northern India worked at a construction site. Among the group of thirty-seven people in charge of the artistic image of the complex were sculptors from Bukhara, calligraphers from Syria and Persia, inlaid craftsmen from southern India, stone cutters from Balochistan, as well as a specialist in the construction of towers and a master in the cutting of marble ornaments. Some of the builders of the Taj Mahal:

Ismail Afandi (Ismail Khan) from the Ottoman Empire - Turkish architect, designer of the main building.
Ustad Isa (Isa Muhammad Effendi) from Persia is a Persian architect, a student of Sinan, he is often called the main creator of the architectural image of the monument.
Puru from Benarus, Persia - referred to as the overseeing architect.
Kazim Khan, a native of Lahore, - cast the golden completion of the spire.
Chiranjilal, a stone carver from Delhi, is the main sculptor and mosaic specialist.
Amanat Khan from Shiraz, Iran - the main calligrapher.
Muhammad Hanif is the chief of the masons.