The Taj Mahal is one of the most recognised, admired and magnificent buildings in the world. It was built between 1631 and 1648 by the orders of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum in memory of his third and favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal who died giving birth to his 14th child. It's estimated that 20,000 workers were employed in its construction, including masons, marble workers, mosaicists and decorators. The Taj Mahal stands before a vast Mughal garden, laid out in perfect symmetry, with the canals providing an exquisite reflection of the building. It is a study in architectural precision, combining elements and styles from Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture. The white marble exterior is inlaid with thousands of pieces of coloured and semi-precious stones, decorative bands and calligraphic inscriptions. The Taj Mahal is best visited at sunrise or sunset when the sun casts the building in different lights, but many hours should be spent here admiring one of the world's great sights.
Travel to Taj Mahal
Organised group tours: Click here to see 34 tours to Northern India which may include Taj Mahal.