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The title Shah Jahan, which means "King of the World" was granted to the Prince Khurram in honor of his military victories by his father Emperor Jehangir. Shah Jahan, the fifth son of Jehangir, ascended the throne in 1628 after a series of succession wars with his brothers.
Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1630 of complications after a delivery secured a promise from her husband to build the most beautiful mausoleum in the world in memory of their love.
Built mostly in white marble, Taj Mahal is located about 1.5 KM from the Agra Fort on the right bank of river Jamuna
Besides white marble, red sandstone, jasper, jade, crystal and sapphire were also used in the monument.
Construction of Taj Mahal started in 1632 and completed in 1648. Some twenty thousand laborers are estimated to have been employed to build the tomb. The laborers were provided with accommodation in Mumtazabad town, which is now known as Taj Ganj. Construction of this monument cost Shah Jahan about 32 Million Rupees
This marble wonder and a symbol of love was designed by Ustad Ahmad Lahauri and Amanat Khan Shirazi was its calligrapher. The verses on the tombstone were designed by Poet Ghyasuddin. The dome was made by Ismail Khan Afridi of Turkey. Muhammad Hanif was the superintendent of masons.
The monument stands on a raised platform with four minarets at each of the corners. The minarets are 41.6 m high and have a slant outwards. It is believed that the minarets were designed to slant deliberately to prevent them from falling on the tomb in an unlikely event of an earthquake. The central dome is 187 feet high.
The mausoleum consists a lofty central chamber, a crypt and four octagonal corner rooms. The four corner rooms were intended to house the graves of other members of the royal family. The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal stands in the center and has the Persian inscription
"Marqad Munavvar Arjumand Ban Begum Mukhatib bah Mumtaz Mahal Tanifiyat ferr sanh 1040 Hijri" which means "Here lies Arjumand Bano Begum called Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1040 AH or 1630 AD".
There are two Mosques on the left and right side of the Taj Mahal. The Mosque on the left side is made of red sandstone and is used for Friday prayers. The Mosque on the right side is known as Jawab. Prayers are not held in Jawab as it faces west and away from Mecca.
Timings: Every day from Sunrise to Sunset
Closed on Friday except between 12:00 - 14:00 hrs for offering prayers