Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628 - 1658) to house the tomb of his favorite wife of three, Mumtaz Mahal.
Construction of the mausoleum was essentially completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for an additional ten years. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653. The construction project employed around 20, 000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. The domed marble tomb is part of an integrated complex consisting of gardens and two red - sandstone buildings surrounded by a crenellated wall on three sides.
The Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India". It is one of the world's most celebrated structures and a symbol of India's rich history. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the Taj Mahal attracts some 3 million visitors a year. On 7 July 2007 it was declared one of the Seven winners of New7Wonders of the World (2000 - 2007) initiative in Lisbon.
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