The Taj was built by the Mogul ruler Shah Jahan, in memory of his beloved wife Arjumand Bano Begum, better known as “Mumtaz Mahal”.
The Taj is decorated with beautiful stones and jewels: jade, coral, malachite, onyx, lapis-lazuli, turquoise and more – because, after all, “Mumtaz Mahal” means “Jewel of the Palace”!
It took twenty-two years to build the awesome Taj: from 1631 to 1653.
A whole lot of workers were needed to build it: twenty-two thousand people plus a thousand elephants!
Different types of marble were used to build the Taj, brought to India from nearby and faraway lands: Punjab, Rajasthan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Tibet, China, and Arabia.
The Taj changes colors – according to the time of day or night, and the phase of the moon!
The Taj is a UNESCO World Heritage site. 2 to 4 million people visit it every year – and 200,000 of those visitors come from outside of India!