The Taj Mahal was built
by a Mongul emperor named Sahah Jahan, for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Sahah
Jahan was born in 1592, while his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal was born
in 1593. They married in 1612 and had seven children. In 1628 Shah Jahan
became the Mongul Emperor. Only three years later his beloved wife died
shortly after childbirth. In 1632 Sahah Jahan began the project of building
a mausoleum, or tomb for his wife, the Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal is located on the banks
of the Yamuna River. It took twenty-two years to complete with an estimated
20,000 workers. The building is surrounded by four 138 ft. minarets
and sits on a 315 ft. square marble platform. Each side has a 110 ft.
arch and center dome is around 200 ft. high. T he building is built in
an Islamic style of architecture.
Centered in the building is a tomb for Mumtaz Mahal. Next to her tomb,
is the tomb for Sahah Jahan. The tombs in the building are empty. The
bodies of the two are buried in a crypt below the building. The entire
plan of the Taj Mahal is symmetrical, with one exception. Symmetrical
means that one side of the building could mirror the other side if cut
down the middle. The only exception is the tomb of Sahah Jahan which
was added later to the building. There is a story which suggest that
Sahah Jahan was planning on building a replica of the Taj Mahal for
himself on the other side the river, though no evidence or plans of
this has ever been found.
Sahah Jahan was overthrown by his own
son and imprisoned in the Red Fort within sight of the Taj Mahal. He
was forced to spend the last eight years of his life in prison till
his death in 1666.