The Taj Mahal is considered by many, to possess architectural beauty unsurpassed by any other structure in the world. Constructed over a period of 22 years, employing twenty thousand workers, it was completed in 1648 C.E. and costed a whopping 32 million Rupees. Built entirely of white marble, it almost seems to glow in the moonlight, with the shimmering Jamuna river situated just across. The Muslim emperor Shah Jahan built this monument in the memory of his wife Mumtaz, whose grave is housed within the premises at the lower chamber. The grave of Shah Jahan was added to it later. The Taj stands tall and regal on a raised, square platform, forming an unequal octagon with its four truncated corners. The architecture uses the interlocking arabesque concept, where each element is singular in its entirety, but integrates seamlessly with the whole. The central dome spans 58 feet in diameter and soars to a height of 213 feet. It is flanked on four sides by smaller domed chambers, and four slender minarets rising to a lower height of 162.5 feet. The entire mausoleum is decorated with an inlaid design of flowers and calligraphy using precious gems like agate and jasper, and the main archways are carved with passages from the Holy Qur’an.
Taj Mahal tour is not only about the seeing the mausoleum in white marble, but also its surroundings, especially the Taj Garden—Charbagh. In Islamic style of architecture, the garden is not just another feature but has a well-defined meaning and it symbolizes the spirituality. According to the Holy Koran, a garden is symbolic of paradise.