The Taj Mahal is perhaps the world’s most perfectly proportioned monument. This stunning mausoleum immortalized the name of Shah Jahan’s last wife Mumtaz Mahal, “light of the palace”. Built by Indian artisans and artisans from neighboring Islamic countries, it is aptly described by the poet laureate Tagore as “A tear on the face of eternity”. Decorated with a mosaic of semi precious stones and Persian calligraphy recreating verses from the Koran, the mausoleum is an “Urs”, an important place of pilgrimage since the empress died in childbirth, thus making her a martyr. Prayers are said and passages from Koran are constantly recited in the mosque and cenotaph chamber. Designed by the Persian architect Ustad Isa, it took 20,000 workmen 22 years of ceaseless toil to complete this mausoleum.
Agra is a city steeped in history. Long renowned as the city of the Taj Mahal – unrivalled in its splendor throughout the world, the ancient city of Agra or Agraban traces its inception to the time of the Mahabharat.
However , it really came into its own during the reign of Akbar, the greatest emperor of the Mughal dynasty in India. Replete with spectacular historical reminders of the Mughal era, it has magnificent palaces, forts and mausoleums all over the city – each with its own story to tell.