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.