Taj Mahal

One of the first things that comes to mind when one says ‘India’ is Taj Mahal. It is the epitome of ‘symbol of love’ and is one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage. Built between 1631 and 1648, for Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India. The monument is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. It is a perfect symmetrical planned building, with an emphasis of bilateral symmetry along a central axis on which the main features are placed. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982, it was declared the winner of the ‘New Seven Wonders of the World’ initiative in 2007. Ustad-Ahmad Lahori was the main architect of Taj Mahal which is located at the bank of river Yamuna in Agra district of Uttar Pradesh. The cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal is in the perfect center of the tomb chamber, placed on a rectangular platform decorated with inlaid flower plant motifs. One of the most unique features of the monument are the four pillars erected at four corners, they not only give spatial reference to the monument but also give it a three-dimensional effect. An area of 10,400 sq km around Taj Mahal is defined to protect the monument from pollution.