India's most beautiful and well known building is the TAJ MAHAL. This republic day was a foggy and cloudy morning when we visited the Taj which as ever is a sight to behold. Built by the Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaj Mahal, the Taj is today considered a symbol of Love.
Construction of this monument was started in 1632 and completed in 22 years in 1653 . Twenty thousand artisans and craftsmen worked on this magnificent building made of white marble. The marble was brought from Makrana in Rajasthan.
The building was designed by Ustad Isa Afandi of Turkey. He was chosen by Emperor Shah Jahan from amongst some of the best known architects of that time from around the world. However some historians consider that the Persian Architect Ustad Lahauri Ahmed is the principle Designer.
Whereas the White Domed Mausoleum is the most familiar and well known, the Taj is actually a complex integrated structure of buildings and gardens.
The focus of the Taj Mahal is the the white marble tomb, which stands on a square plinth consisting of a symmetrical building with an iwan , an arch-shaped doorway, topped by a large dome. Like most Mughal tombs, basic elements are Persian in origin.