Prof. Know Why answers:
Taj Mahal -the spectacular mausoleum, located on the right bank of river Yamuna in
But, why was the Taj Mahal built? In all, Taj Mahal covers an area of more than 60 acres. It took more than 20,000 workers, comprising of masons, stonecutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome-builders and other artisans from India, Central Asia and Iran, for about 17 years (1631 – 1648) to complete this spectacular work of art. Yes! So was the love of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife that he built this grand piece of history to make their love, immortal! The opulent, domed mausoleum is regarded as the finest example of Mughal art and architecture. So exquisite is the workmanship that the Taj Mahal has been described as "having been designed by giants and finished by jewelers". The Taj Mahal rises on a high red sandstone base topped by a huge white marble terrace on which rests the famous dome flanked by four minarets, each more than 13 stories tall. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen.
Arjumand Bano Begum (later known as Mumtaz Mahal) was the woman in whose memory the Taj Mahal was built. Shah Jahan married Arjumand Bano when she was 14 years of age, and the imperial city of Agra was already agog with the stories of her beauty. She became the third wife of
In Shah Jahan’s later years, he was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. He spent his days in confinement, by staring at the Taj Mahal from his prison cell window, till he died after eight years in captivity at the age of 74. Later, his grave was also added to the Taj Mahal.