The magnificent architecture of the Taj Mahal is a testimony to Emperor Shah Jahan's obsession with perfection. Vast quantities of white marble were mined from the quarries in Rajasthan; red sandstone was carted from Delhi. Precious stones were brought by caravan from all corners of the empire and beyond: jasper from the Punjab, carnelian from Baghdad, turquoise from Tibet; malachite, jade and crystal from Turkistan; pearls, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires... over forty types of gems in all embellish the architecture of the Taj Mahal.
Architects and artisans were summoned to the palace in Agra from fabled lands as far as Baghdad and the Ottoman courts of Turkey. Garden designers from Kashmir, calligraphers from Sheraz, stonecutters, sculptors, inlay artisans, dome designers and masons from Bukhara, Constantinople and Samarkand. The Emperor was personally involved in the minute details of the architecture and construction of the Taj Mahal with consultations and counsels taking place each day.
A whole town, named Mumtazabad, was constructed to house the twenty thousands laborers who labored for twenty two whole years to build the Taj Mahal. A ten-mile long ramp was built through Agra so materials could be dragged to the top of the dome at the construction site.
An immense brick scaffold was erected to support the architecture of the dome of the Taj Mahal, which entailed much labor and heavy expenditure. It was said that this structure alone cost more than the entire work.
According to legend, when the Taj Mahal neared completion, Shah Jahan was informed that it would take five more years just to dismantle the scaffold. He responded by decreeing that anyone who helped remove the bricks could keep them, and the job was completed overnight. The architecture of the Taj Mahal is the ultimate example of Mughal Architecture in India. The symmetrical architecture of the Taj Mahal makes this beautiful tomb one of the wonders of the world.
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