The Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to honor his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.
“Taj Mahal” means “crown of palaces” in Urdu and Persian.
The most recognizable feature of the Taj Mahal is the large, white, domed mausoleum, which is surrounded by four tall minarets on each corner. The exterior is made of white marble.
The cenotaphs and the screen surrounding them are covered in intricately designed mosaics made of semi-precious stones.
On either side of the Taj Mahal are two buildings made of red sandstone: a mosque and an assembly hall.
The grounds also include gardens and a long reflecting pool.
1628 – Shah Jahan becomes emperor as part of the Mughal dynasty, ruling northern India.
1631 – His wife, Mumtaz Mahal, dies during childbirth.
1632 – Construction of the Taj Mahal begins. It is estimated that about 20,000 workers helped build the structure.
1648 – The main mausoleum of the Taj Mahal is completed.
1653 – Additional features, including a mosque, guest house and courtyard are completed.
1666 – Shah Jahan dies and his remains are interred next to Mumtaz Mahal beneath the Taj Mahal complex.
1861 – The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is founded in order to help preserve and restore Indian monuments and historical sites.
May 9, 2018 – India’s Supreme Court orders the ASI to do a better job with its restoration plan, as discoloration and stains on the Taj Mahal’s exterior have not been resolved as promised.