Taj Mahal Facts



  • The Taj Mahal (said tarj m’harl) in Agra in India is perhaps the most beautiful tomb in the world.
  • Mughal Indian ruler Shah Jehan ordered it to be built in honor of his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child.
  • Mumtaz died in 1629, and the Taj was built over 22 years from 1632 to 1653.
  • The Taj is set at the north end of a formal Persian garden with water courses and rows of cypress trees.
  • It is made of white marble and sits on a platform of sandstone.
  • Inside the Taj Mahal, behind an octagonal screen of alabaster marble tracery, lie the jewel-inlaid cenotaphs (tombs) of Mumtaz and Shah Jehan. The Shah was placed there when he died and his tomb is the only asymmetrical feature in the Taj.
  • 20,000 workers worked in marble and sandstone, silver, gold, carnelian, jasper moonstone, jade, lapis lazuli and coral to enhance the Taj’s beauty.
  • At each corner of the platform is a slender minaret 40.5 m tall.
  • In the center is a dome 21.3 m across and 36.6 in high.
  • The main architect was Iranian Isa Khan, but the decorations were said to be by Austin of Bordeaux and Veroneo of Venice.