History of Taj Mahal

After the death of Mumtaj Mahal, Shah Jahan

ordered the construction of the Taj mahal. Various designs were put forward of which design of Ustad Isa Afandi of Turkey was selected and construction started in the year 1631.

Artisans were requisitioned from all over the empire including central Asia and Iran. Ustad Ahmad Lahori was the chief of the project. Amanat Ali Khan Shirazi is known for its calligraphic work and Ran Mal was the garden designer from Kashmir.

Materials used and time of construction

While the bricks for the internal framework of Taj Mahal were locally made, no compromise on built quality was done and only the finest material from across the country and abroad was used.

The main building material, the white marble was brought from Makrana in Rajasthan. The red sandstone was brought from Dholpur and Fatehpur Sikri. Precious and semiprecious stones were brought from far of places - mostly cental asia.

Services of about 22,000 labourers and 1,000 elephants were used for 22 years for construction of Taj Mahal. The main builing was completed by 1643, nearly 12 years from start of construction. After its completion, the construction of surrounding buildings and the gardens was taken up and the whole Taj complex was completed in the year 1653.

Threats faced by the Taj Mahal

Taj at its time of construction was fitted with precious stones, interiors had persian carpets and gold lamps, the finial on the top of mausoleum was made of gold, two silver gates were put at the main entrance and a sheet of pearls surrounded the final resting place of Mumtaj Mahal.

Since its construction till date the Taj has faced constant threats : threats during war time, from pollution and human greed. It has been repeatedly looted by various invaders. The Taj Mahal of today is a reflection of the its beauty of the past. One can only imagine how this monument looked like in moonlight when it was in its full glory.

Cost of construction

At the time of construction : 40 million at a time when gold was sold at Rs.15/- per 10 grams(now it is about Rs.27,000/- per 10 grams) :-).

Present cost :


Taj main complex

Agra fort