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History of Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal as the name suggests means “crown of palaces”. It is made wholly of white marble and located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It was built by the fifth Mughal Emperor in memory of his beloved third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is widely known as the jewel of Muslim art in India. It is also regarded as the finest example of Mughal architecture. This architectural style constitutes Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles. It is the universally admired masterpieces of world’s heritage and became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983.

The construction of Taj Mahal began in 1632 and was completed around 1653. Thousands of artisans and craftsmen were employed for its construction. The History of Taj Mahal is not a pleasing one. In 1631during the period of empire’s prosperity, Shahjahan was grief-stricken when his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal died. The divine love between the two held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. The main mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished after five years. After the Completion of Taj Mahal when Shahjahan fell ill, his son Emperor Aurangzeb confined him and put him under house arrest at Agra Fort. Upon Shahjahan’s demise, his first daughter princess Jahanara organized a state funeral and his body was buried in the Taj Mahal next to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

By the late 19th Century some parts of the buildings has fallen into the need of repair. While the Indian rebellion occurred in 1857, the monument was vandalized by British soldiers and some government officials. The beautiful monument was ripped off its precious stones and lapis lazuli. However at the end of the 19th century, British Viceroy Lord Curzon arranged a sweeping restoration project. He also accredited to setup the large lamp in the interior chamber of Taj Mahal. Also the garden was reconstructed with British-style lawns that are still in place today.

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