In 1631, while giving birth to her 14th child, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife passed away. When the Emperor lost his beloved wife, his hair grew white from grief and he vowed to build a tomb worthy of his wife’s memory. The Emperor wanted something unique, something unequaled anywhere else in the world. He came up with the idea of the Taj Mahal. Its pearl-shaped dome represents the Islamic symbol for paradise. The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, India. It’s estimated that 20,000 workers helped to build it.
Today, the Taj Mahal is considered one of the seven wonders of the world. Because visitors have such high expectations of the Taj Mahal, they sometimes wonder if they will be disappointed. Disappointment is rare; the Taj Mahal can be seen many times and it’s still surprising. Although the building is a tomb, it lacks a tomb like atmosphere. Instead, the Taj Mahal is welcoming and delicately beautiful.
The Taj Mahal represents the greatest achievement of Mughal architecture. A different tomb, for Safdar Jang located in Delhi and dating back to 1753, has been called “the last flicker of the lamp of Moghul architecture." The standard pattern for these monuments feature water channels reflecting a large onion shaped dome, gardens arranged into four sections, a plinth and minarets. The Taj Mahal is an astonishing place, based on an idea and built on determination.
[Source: 100 Great Wonders of the World]