Islamic architecture, in its purest form, is
epitomized by the incomparable Taj Mahal built by
the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan as a memorial to his
wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Work started on this monument
in 1634 and continued for almost 22 years.
Situated in the city of Agra on the banks of the
Yamuna, the Taj is enclosed in a garden amidst
fountains and ornamental trees. The walled
complex includes two mosques and an imposing
gateway. The tomb is encased in white marble
which is decorated with flawless sculptures and
inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy cut from
precious gems. Below the dome, in a dimly lit
chamber, lie the mortal remains of Shahjahan and
his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, reminding the
world of their undying love.
The silver light of the full moon shines upon
the cool white dome of the Taj Mahal, softly
glowing in the night air. The extreme
magnificence and beauty of the Taj can be
appreciated fully in the subtle moonlight.
However, the radiance of dawn and the orange glow
of sunset also illumine the splendor of this most
beautiful monument of India. Even in the bright
light of the day, this wonder of the world shines
with an awe-inspiring loveliness.
Without doubt, the Taj Mahal ranks as amongst
the most perfect buildings in the world,
flawlessly proportionate, built entirely out of
marble. Intended to be a commemoration of the
memory of Shahjahan's beloved wife, in reality,
it is his gift to the entire human race.