1632 The Taj Mahal, one of the world's architectural masterpieces, had its beginnings after the Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan's (1592-1666) favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631), died during childbirth. Legend says she bound him with a deathbed promise to build her the most beautiful tomb ever known.
Promise or no, Shah Jahan poured his passion and wealth into the creation—construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. It is said that 20,000 stone carvers, masons, and artists from across India and as far as Turkey and Iraq were employed under a team of architects to build the shrine. Completed in 1648 it combines Persian, Islamic, and Central Asian architectural styles.
The complex, sitting on the lush gardens of the bank of Agra's Yamuna River, houses the tombs of both Shah Jahan and his wife. Its marble reflects the changes of light throughout the day and the dome, 58 feet in diameter with four minarets, helps give the monument its striking beauty.