Most travelers call the Taj Mahal in India the world’s most beautiful building – ever. Some say it’s worth a trip half way around the world just to see it.
The hue of the marbled Taj Mahal varies from hour to hour, season to season. My picture on the left illustrates three of its most sublime times: daytime, sunset and full moon.
An architectural masterpiece
The white-marbled Taj Mahal has perfect symmetry and its curvaceous dome lends sensuality. Its walls are embellished with delicate floral and calligraphic designs made with inlaid semiprecious stones.
The Taj Mahal’s massiveness is cleverly lightened by the widespread use of marble-screen sidings.
The tree-lined reflecting pool and the tall minarets at the four corners of the Taj Mahal’s raised terrace help complete this work of architectural genius.
Why the Taj Mahal was built
The grieving Mughal emperor Shah Jahan erected the Taj Mahal in the 1600s for his beloved wife after she died giving birth to their 14th child. He wanted the mausoleum to perpetuate her memory. It took 22 years and 22,000 workers to complete the Taj Mahal, the emperor’s treasury-draining project of love. His extravagance cost him dearly – a son ousted and imprisoned him for life. From his cell, he could poignantly see his love’s tomb, the Taj Mahal.
What leading travel books say about the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a dream in marble.
The greatest love story ever told in stone is epitomized in the Taj Mahal.