Taj Mahal which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World is situated in Agra. It was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife Arjumand Bano Begum who is popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal. It is occupies the pride place in Islamic Architecture of the country. It was completed in the year 1653 with the estimated cost of 32.8 million rupees which in today’s time would be around 1.5 billion dollars. However many financial say it is very difficult to quote the exact value because it might run into trillions of dollars given its historical reverence
The construction group of around 20,000 laborers was led by the team of architects who were led by the main architects Us tad Ahmed Lahori and Us tad Isa Khan Afandi who was from Central Asia. It attracts around 3 million visitors an year. There is a popular saying that whoever who visits Agra and doesn’t see Taj has seen none. Chiranjilal of Delhi was the chief sculptor and the one who designed the mosaics. Qazim Khan of Lahore did the gold paneling of the Taj Mahal. Mohammed Hanif was the mason’s supervisor.
There are many myths and mysteries which surrounds the Taj Mahal. There was a myth that Shah Jahan mutilated the hands of 20000 laborers. But it has been wrongly interpreted, because Shah Jahan paid them so much that they don’t had to work for coming generations. Then there was an another myth that after construction of the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan wanted to construct his own tomb where he could led to rest after his death. The tomb would be parallel to his begum’s tomb. He had ordered the construction of Black Taj Mahal but its construction was stopped midway by Aurangzeb who ordered it to be stopped citing financial deflict in the imperial treasury and imprisoned Shah Jahan at Musalman Burj of the Agra Fort. This tale has found its mention in the memoirs of the writing of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, a travelers’ from Europe who visited Agra in the year 1665. However no concrete evidence regarding the existence of this black Taj Mahal has been found, but the ruins at moonlight garden which is also called as Mehtab Bagh certainly refers to this myth. There was a joke that Lord William Bentick, the first British Governor General of India (Warren Hasting was the first Governor General of Bengal) reportedly had plans to demolish the Taj Mahal and auction off its marbles.