World Heritage Wonders - Taj Mahal (UNESCO/NHK World)

a building made by a Mughal Emperor to

give form to the love he felt for his


monument for the beloved Taj Mahal

Agra northern India the glittering white

Taj Mahal towers towards the heavens

it was completed in the mid 17th century

at that time it was praised as exceeding

paradise in beauty

the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum built under

the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan the

soft curves of the white marble dome are

typical of Islamic architecture

the arches were built by piling up

stones that were arranged in beautiful

symmetry Islamic culture pervades the

Taj Mahal

to construct this tube the best

craftsmen in the Islamic world were

gathered the project would showcase the

Mughal empires prestige desert-dwelling

Muslims who advanced into India a Hindu

nation were the founders of the Mughal

Empire around a hundred years later the

Mughal Empire was at the peak of its

power with Shah Jahan as its ruler for

whom could he have built this giant

mausoleum in the very center sits the

stone coffin of shah jahan's queen Shah

Jahan built this mausoleum for his

beloved wife

Empress Mumtaz Mahal the Emperor's love

for her was boundless he even took her

with him to the battlefield

however after giving birth to their 14th

child at age 36 she passed away

the Emperor decorated his wife's coffin

with agate and Jade and enclosed it in

marble fretwork symbols of his deep love

for her then he fell into deep mourning

for his beloved Empress

a magnificent garden full of water and

beautiful greenery spreads out in front

so the Taj Mahal - desert-dwelling

Muslims it represented paradise

the gardens lawn is full of star-shaped

patterns and so other paved walkways in

Islam stars are a symbol of heaven the

emperor put stars everywhere hoping to

show his queen the way to get there

the Emperor despaired it is said his

beard instantly turned white and in his

last year's he was imprisoned in a

castle on the shore across from the Taj

Mahal by his own third son

the Emperor could see the tajmahal from

the castles tower gazing upon it and

thinking of his wife was his only


at 74 Shah Jahan's life came to a close

his body was placed near the Queens by

his third son the sixth Mughal emperor

the Emperor and his beloved side-by-side

again in the Taj Mahal

the Mughal Empire eventually collapsed

however the Taj Mahal the beacon of an

emperors love still shines it is part of

our shared global heritage