Mumtaz Mahal, an inseparable companion of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, died in 1631, while giving birth to their 14th child. It was in the memory of his beloved wife that Shah Jahan built a magnificent monument as a tribute to her. The construction of Taj Mahal started in the year 1631. Masons, stone-cutters, in-layers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome-builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of the empire and from Central Asia and Iran. Completed in 1653 it took approximately 22 years to build what we see today. An epitome of love, it made use of the services of 22,000 laborers and 1,000 elephants. The monument was built entirely out of white marble, which was brought in from all over India and central Asia.
© Ramdas Iyer Photography